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Plymouth Argyle match preview

28 September 2018

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Rovers embark on their longest away trip of the season when they travel to face Plymouth Argyle on Saturday in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers will be looking for their fourth league win in a row, as well as their seventh game unbeaten, when they head to Devon following last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Bradford City.

Plymouth on the other hand are looking to bounce back following last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in the capital to Charlton Athletic.

Brief history of Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth play at the 12,800-capacity Home Park stadium, with the capacity currently limited as the old Mayflower Stand is under redevelopment for the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign.

Their nickname is the Pilgrims, which is taken from an old English religious group that left Plymouth for the “New World” in 1620, leaving on the Mayflower ship from which their stand was named after too.

The city of Plymouth is the largest in the country to have never hosted top-flight football, with Argyle being as high as the Championship in 2010, finishing in 11th two seasons prior to their relegation.

Like Rovers, this will be the Pilgrims second season back in Sky Bet League One, having won promotion as runners-up from the fourth tier in 2017, and they narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season, finishing in seventh in their first season back in the division.

Who’s the gaffer?

Derek Adams is the man at the helm at Home Park, having been in charge of the Pilgrims since June 2015. His first season saw him take Argyle to the League Two play-off final for the first time in 20 years, before his second campaign saw them finally achieve promotion from the EFL’s bottom tier.

He previously managed Scottish side Ross County in two spells between 2007 and 2014, guiding them to the Scottish Second Division title in 2008, before leading them to the Scottish top-flight in 2012, after which he would be named as the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for that season.

So far, he has taken charge of 172 Plymouth Argyle games, winning 77 of those, whilst drawing 37 and losing 58, leaving him with a win percentage of 44.8 per cent.

Ones to watch

Graham Carey

The Irishman carried across his stunning form in League Two into the third tier last season, and he will be looking to maintain that during this campaign. The former Celtic and St Mirren man joined up with his former Ross County boss Adams at Home Park in 2015 and has gone on to be one of the most influential Pilgrims players during his time in Devon. Carey was named in the League Two PFA Team of the Year alongside James Coppinger and John Marquis in 2017 after scoring 14 goals from midfield in 46 games. Last season saw Carey match his goal tally in four less games in a higher division, and he already has two goals to his name during this campaign, including their only goal in last weekend’s 2-1 away defeat to Charlton.

Ryan Edwards

The Liverpudlian centre-back bravely returned from testicular cancer over the summer, scoring on his return to league football on the opening day of this season. Edwards scored the equaliser in Argyle’s 1-1 draw with Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium last season in what was his last game before his spell away from the game. He currently has two goals to his name this season following his return, and he will be looking to keep Rovers out at Home Park on Saturday.

Freddie Ladapo

The striker signed from fellow League One side Southend United over then summer. Ladapo recently spent time with Premier League outfit Crystal Palace, signing from non-league side Margate in 2016 after scoring 23 goals in 49 league games. He was primarily used in the Eagles’ Development side, although he did make one appearance for their senior team, coming off the bench against Manchester United at Old Trafford in September 2017. A move to Essex with Southend came about in January 2018, before his move across to the South West with the Pilgrims over the summer.

Who’s the ref?

Kevin Johnson will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet at Home Park on Saturday. Johnson last took charge of Rovers back in March 2018, officiating their 0-0 draw away at Southend United in Sky Bet League One. Johnson has already taken charge of the Pilgrims once this season, taking charge of their Carabao Cup first round victory over Championship side Bristol City.

His nine games this season have seen him dish out 26 yellow cards so far, however he is yet to brandish a red card so far this campaign.

Johnson will be joined by assistant referees Christopher Kidd and Simon Shaw, with Sam Allison being named as the fourth official for the game.

Last time out

Rovers’ last meeting with the Pilgrims came at the Keepmoat Stadium back in January, with Alfie Beestin’s first ever league goal putting them ahead, before Ryan Edwards’ header in the second half earning the visitors a point.

Rovers’ last visit to Home Park proved to be a very successful one, as they ran out 3-0 winners in Devon. Rovers travelled to the South West following their Carabao Cup third round trip to Premier League side Arsenal the previous Wednesday, and goals from Andy Butler, John Marquis and Alfie May saw them return to South Yorkshire with three points.

Tickets for Rovers’ next home game against Fleetwood Town on Saturday October 6 are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office – purchase yours now by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at

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