Date:Sunday December 31 2006
When these two sides met earlier in the season, they produced one of the worst displays of the season. Fans from both sides were calling for their manager to be sacked. Since then both teams have shot up the league, but based on this performance and the league table, its the Sea-Siders who have made the most progress.
Rovers were never at the races in the first half, as they allowed Blackpool time and space. Smith made a number of good saves, whilst Lee and Lockwood were forced to make a number of important tackles.
The sea-siders edged the first half, but surely Rovers would come out fighting in the second 45, although many Rovers fans had drawn the conclusion that Rovers were happy for a draw and would try to nick a goal.
During the half-time interval, a tannoy announcement asked for the Doncaster Rovers Club Doctor to report to the away changing rooms immediately. Why?
Rovers started the second half much better, and were in patches starting to close the Blackpool players down and defend from the front. The turning point came when Simon Grayson used his subs to change the game, compared to Sean O'Driscoll who forgot that he had any. Simon 'Larry' Grayson brought on Veron and he caused Rovers problems with his pace and skill. Rovers fans were calling for Forte, who on his day can be exciting and cause problems, to be replaced.
Wes Hoolahan skipped past three defenders before pulling the ball back to Veron to slot home. Soon afterwards a routine cross in the box found Barker unmarked to head home beyond Smith. At this stage, a significant number of the 800 plus Rovers fans decided that the best option was to make the journey back to South Yorkshire. Things got worse, when Scott Vernon dispossessed Ben Smith on his goal line just outside the penalty area. Vernon collected the ball and then proceeded to roll the ball into the unguarded net.
On fire Paul Heffernan managed to get a consolation goal for Rovers, after the Blackpool 'keeper had fumbled his earlier effort.
It has emerged that the Rovers manager and Chairman both made strong pleas to the match referee to call the game off before the players had a chance to warm-up. The fact that O'Driscoll didn't want the game played may well have affected the players. The Blackpool midfield was certainly more up for it than we were.
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