Doncaster Rovers vs Sunderland in Review

Here we go again, another big game, another mint away day missed, another soulless stream to watch….. you know the drill. First article since Monday for SAFCBlog, I normally write each day, but I’ve given Social Media a miss this week…… I’ve said on numerous occasions, ‘football is a game of opinions’, this is healthy and should be encouraged. I don’t think we should be looking to change our manager, there are plenty who don’t agree with me – once again healthy. Not so healthy is the vitriol online towards individuals, I understand and appreciate it’s an emotional game, I understand  it’s a passionate affair, I understand the angle of morbid fascination – I don’t understand the desire to use social media so differently to real life? I know Social Media isn’t the ‘real world’…. the real world is pretty decent – so going to stick with that for a few weeks. Once again it’s all about ‘choice, opinion & preference’. Thankfully we’ve got a game today…..


Doncaster Town

I get off the train at York, arriving at Doncaster station was is always a landmark moment, as it signals ‘it is time to go for a final piss’

Loads of famous folk from Doncaster, ‘Bantz Merchant Jeremy Clarkson, Celebrity Shouter Brian Blessed, Car Parker Kevin Keegan’. A more recent celebrity is ‘Louis Tomlinson of One Direction’, he’s a Donny fan, half decent footballer and given his involvement with various charities, just seems like an all round top bloke. He’s 26 years old, is good looking, has a nett worth of £60 million, always has an absolute stunner on his arm…… but I ask you…. is he happy?

Whether it’s ‘pineapple on a pizza, a weird crush, watching shit tv…….’ We all have a guilty pleasure?
“Never meet your heroes they say……..?”

Doncaster Rovers……

Probably not the game you want on the back of a few bad results? Rovers are one of the better teams in this league, Ben Whiteman is one of the better players in this league, and the nephew of The Cat from Red Dwarf  is on loan with them from Arsenal. 

Sunderland AFC…….

All things considered, we are in need of a reaction,boost….. alternatively if we could just stop missing absolute sitters, the effect would be the same?

“Got to hit the target from there?”

In other news we have been drawn to visit Oldham in the Pizza Cup. Would have been a nice trip that and ‘something to do’, still I suppose it’s ‘something to watch and write about?’

Pre Teamsheet Teamsheet thoughts……..

Few changes I’d reckon?

  • Expect Burge to replace Matthews
  • Willis needs a rest, he looks knackered, Sanderson looks a more than capable replacement  as is Flanagan 
  • A lot is made of only playing 1 up top, I expect that to be the case today – not particularly due to tactics…… but I just don’t see Grigg, Graham or O’Brien as offering anything, due to a lack of effort, form and ability
  • Midfield the key, I don’t think it works playing Power and Grant together. Grant has played well this season, Power hasn’t – the only concern would be Grants legs, I’d love to see Embleton or Scowen played to be busy around Grant – if Max and Grant play, we just end up too deep and pedestrian. Whiteman is a better player than any of our midfielders, we need to press him – a pairing of Max and Grant, (in my humble opinion), plays right into their hands?
“Right lads, listen up…… no fucking deeper than this today, we invite them onto us and we’ll get beat, get into the fuckers and press them and we’ll win, got it? Now get out there, get into them and get 3 points!”

Actual Teamsheet Teamsheet thoughts …..

No complaints with that – Scowen for Power✅⚽️

The Match…….

1st half……..

  • Doncaster boss possession first 10 minutes, thereafter…….
  • We look very good. Lots of positives…….
  • Scowen doing exactly what he was put in the team to do.
  • Corners much better when Josh takes them
  • Our tempo is good, our passing is good. Connor McLaughlin has put in 4 or 5 great balls from the righthand side 
  •  We were denied an absolute nailed on penalty, only consolation is ref will probably know this by now, so any sniff of a penalty 2nd half and I’ll reckon we’ll get it?
  • What a fucking goal! Sky Sports Goal of the Day✅ Soccer AM Top Bin next Saturday✅ Just a fantastic strike of the ball. The only shame is we’d have been right behind the flight of that ball if we were there. Great goal Grant 💥💜⚽️
It’s a much underused term in football writing, but…….. that is ‘AN ABSOLUTE THUNDERBASTARD OF A STRIKE💥⚽️💥
“The haters gonna hate…… “ it’s only half time, but we’ve played really, really well✅⚽️ Just need to avoid another slow start to the 2nd half!

A Doncaster Viewpoint…….

After kindly previewing the match the other day, Rovers fan Adam is on hand once again to offer a few thoughts on today’s events…….

1st half………. After seeing the first 11 it was clear Moore sees SAFC as a threat as it is probably our strongest starting lineup. The first 10 minutes looked positive for Rovers, we were playing good football and were moving the ball around well. SAFC didn’t seem to offer much within the first quarter of the half but after 20 mins SAFC took real control of the game it felt as though we couldn’t get out of our own half. I was holding my breath for the penalty call as it looked clear to me, but I think we got away with one there. Overall, flashes of good play from Rovers but SAFC the far better team and consistently asking questions of us for the majority of the half. Fantastic finish from Leadbitter, no complaints, the keeper had no chance and a well deserved lead. Rovers need a shake up at HT to avoid consistent waves of pressure during the second half. Our commentators commented on SAFC being surprised at James playing in the centre of midfield, I couldn’t agree more, he is out of position in centre-mid and it isn’t working for me, the game seems to flutter by him and we need a more established player in that role. Too much ball watching, someone needs to take control, slow Sunderland down and grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Poor half for Rovers. 

Cheers Adam 👍 

2nd half……. an equaliser with 15 seconds to go. Hugely frustrating. I’ll not see the meltdown on Social Media, but we’ve not played poorly today. 1-1 ….. really disappointing

A Doncaster Viewpoint……..

2nd half…… After the first half I was hoping for Rovers to get the obligatory managerial bollocking during the break and come out looking like they want to score. Our best chance of the half came from Loklio at around 53 mins but this was fired straight at the keeper, he should’ve done better.  Rovers looked slightly more bright and confident in front of goal but we really never looked like scoring. Rovers lacked width and the introduction of Richards for our first sub wasn’t  one that injected much confidence into the side. Richards first real introduction was a poor heavy handed pass. As the game progressed it felt as though we weren’t going to get anything from the game and honestly, that would’ve have been a fair outcome. As I was coming to terms with Sunderland being our official bogey team there was a fumble in the box, we managed to get a scrappy goal over the line and we seem to have come away with a point. Poor performance but a point nonetheless. Rovers come out luckily unscathed and  Parkinson will now be under extreme pressure from SAFC fans after failing to capitalise against a poorer side over 90 minutes. 

Cheers Adam…… and spot on with your 1-1 prediction

Well Done to the lads on the pitch, well done to the management team – a good performance, we deserved to win, but 1-0 is always a dangerous scoreline….. gutted.  Back next week with a Fleetwood preview and match coverage on Friday

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