Date:Thursday October 8 2009
With Rovers having a break due to internationals this weekend I thought it would be a good chance to have an update on the season so far as we reach the quarter stage of the season.
If you`re a betting man then the bet to have so far this season is - Rovers for a draw.
In the first eleven games, they have drawn eight so far, winning just the one and losing two.
The season started at Watford, after falling behind to a Danny Graham goal Rovers responded with a looping header from James Hayter from the edge of the area to claim a point and the draw trend was set.
Rovers then had a trip to big spending Notts County in the Carling Cup first round looking for revenge after going out to the same team at the same stage last season.
This time Rovers made no mistake and a solitary James Coppinger was enough to send them through.
Next up came two home games in the space of four days.
First up were Preston, ex Rover Chris Brown once again scored against Rovers having also done so in the corresponding fixture last season, to give the visitors a first half lead.
Rovers got a deserved point when defender Adam Lockwood prodded in from close range with ten minutes remaining.
Coventry were the next visitors, the Sky Blues had started the season impressively with two wins out of two.
In a game Rovers dominated for long periods, only an outstanding display by Kieran Westwood in the City goal kept Rovers out and once again, the spoils were shared making it three draws in three league games.
Rovers then travelled to one of last seasons relegated Premiership clubs Middlesbrough.
A goal in each half from Tuncay and Lita were enough to send Rovers to their first defeat of the season.
Carling Cup football and Premierships early pace setters Tottenham Hotspurs were next on the agenda at the Keepmoat.
Rovers were given a lesson in finishing as Tottenham racked up the goals in a 5-1 victory.
The game could have been so different had Rovers taken their chances and some world class goalkeeping from Carlo Cudicini.
Although on the end of a heavy defeat, Rovers went out with a very creditable performance and only had a consolation goal from Martin Woods to show for their hard work.
Rovers were back in league action on the Saturday and welcomed the Championship pacesetters Cardiff City.
This time Rovers made no mistakes and two goals in the opening twenty minutes from Adam Lockwood and James Hayter secured a first win of the season.
Rovers finished August in fourteenth place with six points from five games.
With the Championship having a week off due to international matches Rovers had to wait two weeks for their next game.
They travelled to Reading looking to build on the Cardiff victory. In a poor game a couple of excellent saves from Rovers veteran keeper Neil Sullivan earned them a point.
Another away game three days later followed at West Brom. Rovers gave first starts to Billy Sharp, who had joined on loan from Sheffield United for the season on transfer deadline day and youngster Waide Fairhurst.
Fairhurst gave Rovers a dream start scoring inside the first ten minutes.
Poor defending from Rovers though would be their undoing, two headed goals from defender Jonas Olsson and a superb long range strike from Chris Wood sent Rovers spiralling to their second defeat of the season.
Struggling Roy Keane`s Ipswich were the next visitors to the Keepmoat. Waide Fairhurst was at it again putting Rovers into the lead inside the first fifteen minutes. The game came to life in the last twenty five minutes when Ipswich equalised through Colback.
Rovers were quickly back in front thanks to a long range effort from Martin Woods. The joy was short lived and within five minutes Rovers were trailing after two goals in three minutes from Priskin and Martin.
Quinton Fortune ensured Rovers took a point from the game when his long range effort made the score 3-3.
Rovers travelled the short distance to Scunthorpe United the following Saturday for a lunch time encounter.
A Martin Woods penalty and a first for the club by Billy Sharp looked like bringing the three points back to Doncaster until the game exploded in the final twenty minutes.
Firstly John Oster was sent off for Rovers after an off the ball incident which left Iron midfielder Grant McCann with a cut close to his eye.
Cliff Byrne quickly got the home side back into the game with a glancing header.
Rovers were soon down to nine men when Quentin Fortune was shown a straight red for a poor tackle on Byrne.
In the third minute of injury time Scunthorpe were awarded a penalty after a handball from Woods. McCann stepped up to send Sullivan the wrong way and earn the home side a point.
Rovers were back in home action again on the Tuesday against Swansea, in a dour 0-0 draw the visitors would have felt unlucky not to come away with three points after hitting the bar in the first half.
The injury list was groing ever longer by the game and with Fortune and Oster suspended, Rovers took a patched up squad to Sheffield United for a South Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.
James Hayter gave Rovers the lead on the stroke of half time with a deflected effort that found it`s way past Bunn in the United goal.
Cresswell equalised for United half way through the second half.
Darius Henderson almost won United all three points but his powerful header came back off the bar.
So with almost a quarter of the season gone Rovers find themselves with eleven points from eleven games and sat in eighteenth place.
Rovers are having the same sort of look that blighted their first half of the season last season when poor refereeing decisions and no luck in front of goal cost them.
They are finding the net a little more regularly than they was last season and if Billy Sharp can find the scoring boots that he had during his time at Scunthorpe than draws will hopefully turn into victories and a quick rise up the table.
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Date:Thursday October 8 2009
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|19. Leyton Orient||18||4||7||7||-3||19|
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