Rovers return home following two games on the road as they host fellow promotion chasers Barnsley in a huge South Yorkshire derby in Sky Bet League One on Friday night.
Rovers picked up a point away at eighth-placed Blackpool on Tuesday night, with a stunner from skipper Tommy Rowe to grab a well-deserved equaliser for Grant McCann’s men.
Barnsley also drew in midweek, with a goalless draw against third-placed Sunderland at home to ensure that they maintained their stronghold over second place.
Brief history of Barnsley FC
Barnsley play at the 23,287-capacity Oakwell stadium, which has been their home since the club’s formation in 1887.
They are nicknamed the Tykes, which derives from the term to describe a typical Yorkshire character: rugged, hard-working and with great pride in their roots.
This current season is their first back in League One since 2016, having been relegated on the final day of the last campaign from the Championship.
Their last promotion from the third tier saw them win the play-offs with a 3-1 victory over Millwall at Wembley Stadium, a win which was their second at the national stadium in a matter of months following their Football League Trophy win over Oxford United during the same season. Goals from Ashley Fletcher, Adam Hammill and Lloyd Isgrove sealed promotion for a Tykes side that were bottom of the League One table at Christmas in 2015.
Who’s the gaffer?
Daniel Stendel is the man who will occupy the away dugout on Friday, having taken charge of the Tykes ahead of their League One return this summer. The former Hamburg and Hannover 96 striker made his managerial debut in charge of the latter club, leaving them with an impressive win percentage of 50 per cent after just under a year in charge.
He has overseen 45 games whilst in charge of the Tykes, winning 25 of those, drawing 13 and losing just seven, leaving him with a win percentage of 55.56 per cent.
Ones to watch
The goalkeeper is currently in his fifth season with the Tykes after joining them from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 2014. Davies began his youth career at Everton, and he was named as the Academy Player of the Year in 2010 for the Toffees. He then went on to move on to Sheffield Wednesday in 2012, though he failed to make a single appearance for the Owls and instead made his move across South Yorkshire to Barnsley. With the Tykes, Davies won the Football League Trophy and promotion from League One via the play-offs in 2016, and he has since taken over the captain’s armband as well during his time at Oakwell. Davies qualifies to play for Wales internationally, and although he is yet to earn his first cap, he has been called up to the senior squad previously.
The centre half joined Barnsley in 2017 following promotion from the National League with Forest Green Rovers. After time with Millwall, Pinnock dropped into non-league and joined Dulwich Hamlet, making his senior debut for them in 2010, helping them to win the Isthmian League Division One South play-offs in 2013. After making over 200 appearances for Dulwich, Pinnock joined Forest Green Rovers in 2016, spending just one season at The New Lawn, though it would be a successful stint in Gloucestershire, with Pinnock playing in the 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers in the National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium in 2017. Pinnock joined Barnsley shortly afterwards, and he has established himself at the heart of the Tykes’ defence this season.
The forward made his move to Oakwell a permanent one back in January following his loan from Premier League side Fulham. Woodrow spent eight years with the Cottagers, though spent much of his time out on loan away from Craven Cottage, enjoying time with Southend United, Burton Albion and Bristol City. In 2016, Woodrow would be part of the England under-21 squad that won the Toulon Tournament, making nine appearances and scoring three times in total for the Young Lions. He joined the Tykes on loan at the beginning of this season, and after impressive form, the move was made a permanent one in the recent transfer window. Woodrow also scored the equaliser when the two sides met at Oakwell earlier on in the season, snatching a point for the Tykes following Herbie Kane’s opener.
Who’s the ref?
Ross Joyce will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Friday night, and you can read more about him here.
Last time out
Rovers were held to a draw the last time these two sides met, with Herbie Kane opening the scoring just after the break. Cauley Woodrow stepped off the bench to make an immediate impact, scoring within three minutes of entering the field, latching on to a loose ball to net the equaliser at Oakwell back in November.
Rovers last beat Barnsley at home in October 2015, with Keshi Anderson opening the scoring before Sam Winnall equalised for the Tykes. There would be late drama at the Keepmoat Stadium though, with Richard Chaplow popping up in the first minute of added time at the end of the second half to steal three points for Rovers.
Tickets for Friday’s Sky Bet League One game at home against South Yorkshire rivals and fellow promotion hopefuls Barnsley are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Supporters are reminded that Friday’s fixture against the Tykes is also now an ALL-TICKET fixture.
Purchase yours now by visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.