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Coventry City (H) match preview

3 May 2019

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Rovers play their last, and potentially biggest, game of the regular Sky Bet League One season on Saturday evening when they host Coventry City at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers come in to the game off the back of last weekend’s 2-2 draw away at Oxford United, with goals at the Kassam Stadium coming from John Marquis and a Nico Jones own-goal.

Coventry visit the Keepmoat Stadium after a draw of their own, with Jordan Shipley’s 16th-minute opener being cancelled out by Shrewsbury Town’s Fejiri Okenabirhie’s strike 12 minutes from time in a 1-1 draw on Sunday at the Ricoh Arena.

Brief history of Coventry City

Coventry play at the 32,609-capacity Ricoh Arena, which has been their home since 2005, minus a brief spell away between 2013 and 2014, since their departure from their former ground, Highfield Road.

They are nicknamed the Sky Blues which comes from the colour of their playing kit.

They returned to League One this season, bouncing back from relegation in 2017 immediately, with goals from Jordan Willis, Jordan Shipley and Jack Grimmer seeing the Sky Blues beat Exeter City 3-1 at Wembley Stadium in the League Two play-off final back in May.

Last season also saw Coventry finish sixth in the league, which would be the Sky Blues first top-six finish since the 1969/70 season, with the promotion their first from any tier since 1967.

Who’s the gaffer?

Mark Robins is the man in charge of the Sky Blues, with Robins being appointed as manager in March 2017. Robins previously managed the Sky Blues for most of the 2012/13 season, before being given permission to take the reins at Huddersfield Town.

Robins is most noted for famously saving Sir Alex Ferguson’s job at Manchester United, scoring in the third round of the 1990 FA Cup against Nottingham Forest, with rumour going round that had United lost that game, Ferguson would have received his marching orders.

Across his two spells in charge of the Sky Blues, Robins has overseen 153 games, winning 69 of those, whilst drawing 30 and losing 54, leaving him with a total win percentage of 45.1 per cent.

Ones to watch

Jordy Hiwula

The former England youth international came up through the ranks at Manchester City before departing for Huddersfield Town in 2015. Hiwula spent much of his time with both City and the Terriers out on loan, notably with Walsall whilst with either club, and Wigan Athletic, also helping Bradford City and Fleetwood Town to the League One play-offs in successive seasons. Hiwula made a permanent move to the Ricoh Arena ahead of the start of this season, scoring his first league goal in October against Southend United. He also scored the winner when Rovers travelled to Coventry later on in October, grabbing the second goal in a 2-1 win for the Sky Blues. Hiwula, who also qualifies to play for Angola, has represented England at both under-18 and under-19 level, making two appearances for both and scoring once at each level.

Liam Kelly

The one-time Scottish international midfielder is the current Sky Blues skipper, and he is now at the end of his second season with the club. Despite coming up through the youth ranks at Milton Keynes, Kelly’s first taste of professional football came with Scottish side Kilmarnock, making his debut against Hamilton Academical in 2010. Kelly would help Killie to a shock Scottish Cup win in 2012 over Celtic, with former Rovers men Paul Heffernan and Dean Shiels also involved in the side. He would return to England in 2013 with Bristol City, before going on to join Oldham Athletic a year later, spending two seasons with the Latics. After an unsuccessful season with Leyton Orient in which the O’s were relegated, Kelly joined the Sky Blues in 2017, helping them to win promotion back to League One at the first attempt, playing the full 90 minutes at Wembley in the 3-1 win over Exeter City.

Jordan Willis

The defender is one of the Sky Blues’ academy products, signing a professional contract with his hometown club in 2011. Willis made his debut in a 3-2 defeat against Southampton in the Championship, becoming the Sky Blues’ 10th youngest player in the club’s history. He would then go on to captain the side for the first time against Crewe Alexandra during the 2013/14 season and scored his first goal for the club in August 2016 in the EFL Trophy against West Ham United U23s. Willis has won twice with the Sky Blues at Wembley Stadium, captaining the side for their Football League Trophy win and scoring a stunning opener from distance in the League Two play-off final victory.

Who’s the ref?

Jeremy Simpson will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday evening, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

It was the Sky Blues who came out on top when the two sides met at the Ricoh Arena back in October. Jordy Hiwula grabbed the opener before Luke Thomas doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, with Joe Wright scoring a consolation with 20 minutes to play.

Rovers’ last win over Coventry at the Keepmoat Stadium came back in April 2016, with goals from Tommy Rowe and Andy Williams in the first half seeing them pick up three points.

Tickets for Rovers’ final home game of the regular Sky Bet League One season against Coventry City on Saturday (5:30pm kick-off) 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 tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk and be a part of the final push towards the League One play-offs.


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