Date:Saturday August 9 2008
Rovers marked their return to the second tier of English football in style with a gutsy 1-0 victory at Derby.
A sell out crowd of over 33,000 greeted both clubs
The weather was more accustomed to a late autumn afternoon with rain sweeping across the pitch before kick off.
Rovers started the game with a similar sort of team to the one that finished off last season.
Only a place on the bench was on offer for summer signings James Chambers and Jos Van Nieuwstadt.
Rovers got the ball rolling but it was Derby who settled quicker without creating any clear cut chances on goal.
Rovers felt they were denied a clear cut penalty early on when Lewis Guy was brought down in the area but official Andy D'Urso waved away the complaints.
Their first real chance on goal was for Gareth Taylor who skimmed the bar with an header just after fifteen minutes.
A few minutes later another chance fell to Taylor who shot wide after good work from Hayter.
Derby began to reclaim the control of the game after this. Pereplotkims shot well over and then Commons was allowed to run deep into the Rovers half before a long range effort was easily dealt with by Sullivan in goal.
Rob Hulse was looking a danger for Derby and he managed to see his shot hit the post and go wide after good work down the wing by Mears.
Commons then had another effort which had Sullivan working hard to tip the ball over the bar.
Guy looked Rovers main threat and he was working the Derby backline hard with his pace whilst Taylor was giving Alan Stubbs a hard time and winning their aerial battle.
Rovers best chance of the half fell to Taylor when his powerful header was turned around the post by keeper Carroll.
Rovers would have been well happy with their performance in the first half.
Derby had the better of it but without making any clear cut chances on goal.
The second half had started quite evenly and then the moment all Rovers fans had been dreaming about all summer happened.
A wonderful through ball by Rovers full back James O'Connor was picked up by Guy who slid the ball past Carroll to score Rovers first Championship goal in fifty years.
Just after this they could have sealed the victory when Guy had a great effort saved brilliantly by Carroll.
Rovers started to sit a little deeper but controlled the possession and passed the ball around Derby which was being greeted by loud cheers from the large Rovers following.
Rovers made late tactical substitutions and gave debuts to Chambers and Van Nieuwstadt.
The referee somehow managed to find six minutes of added time from somewhere but Rovers comfortably saw out the time.
The final whistle went to the delight of all connected with Doncaster Rovers.
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Date:Saturday August 9 2008
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