A FIRST MINUTE GOAL FROM DEVANTE COLE GAVE BRADFORD CITY THE EARLY 0-1 LEAD IN THE YORKSHIRE DERBY AT THE KEEPMOAT STADIUM, AND PARKINSON’S TEAM MANAGED TO HOLD ON TO THAT LEAD FOR THE REMAINING 89 MINUTES.

Doncaster’s center back Gary MacKenzie returned from his 2 match suspension to replace Taylor-Sinclair in defense, and Chaplow and Gobern return to the starting line-up as Middleton and N’Guessan drop to the bench, so Doncaster went with:

Doncaster XI: Stuckmann, Evina, Butler, MacKenzie, McCullough, Wellens, Coppinger (c) , Chaplow, Gobern, Williams and Anderson.

Doncaster Bench: Marosi, Forrester, Tyson, N’Guessan, Taylor-Sinclair, Stewart and Middleton.

Bradford XI: Williams,  Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Liddle, Evans, Reid, Cole and Davies.

Bradford Bench: Jones, N. Clarke, Marshall, Hanson, Knott, Leigh, Mottley Henry.

So, Rob Jones’s last game in-charge of Rovers before Darren Ferguson takes over tomorrow started off at home to Bradford City who Rovers haven’t beat at home since 1981 when Rovers was at Belle Vue!

Just 48 seconds into the game Bradford won a throw in, in Doncaster’s defensive half, which was taken by Evans. The long throw from Evans reached Devante Cole who manages to beat Rover’s defense and Stuckmann to make it 0-1 to the visitors within 48 seconds.

This early goal is a prime example of my first point, because something that I’m starting to realize of recent matches is that, we’re taking our time to settle down in the opening minuets, and I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be so long until someone takes advantage of that, and Bradford did so. They also continued to do this when in the 6th minuet they had another opportunity where it was almost 0-2 to Bradford after Butler came to the rescue, and cleared the threat, and gave them a corner. Hopefully with Darren Ferguson and Gavin Strachan watching from the stand they’ll have taken note of this, and try to make sure that we’re 100% with the game from start to end.

However, saying that I do think that we eventually did settle down. When Coppinger began to run through Bradford’s defense, but played a bad ball through to Anderson, and Coppinger seems to be making these mistakes a lot lately, and is becoming in consistent, so I think we should begin to start playing someone like Stewart, who has looked very sharp from the games that I’ve seen him in.

Another positive that I’ve witnessed is that Wellens was being very vocal, and positively giving the young striker Keshi Anderson advice on what to do. Shortly after that it got worrying as Andy Butler suffered what looked like a concussion after being hit in the face. This is something that is worrying me now, because we only have Aaron Taylor-Sinclair who is our only spare defender (but, I guess you can count James Horsfield, but he hasn’t been looking very good in recent games). So, one job I think Ferguson will have to do is bring in a defender, and maybe very quickly pending on how long Butler will be out for.

Rover’s then began to play a lot more better as Bradford sat back until half time when Rover’s were playing possessive football, which led to a Rover’s goal, which was disallowed after some poor refereeing. With Anderson scoring, and the lines man allowing it, but the referee just said no, because apparently Anderson fouled one of Bradford’s defenders – I’ll have to watch that back!

Wellens was another positive – again – who was setting up a lot of chances in the first and second half, and was probably the most consistent player on the pitch today. MacKenzie worried fans in the second half when he went down, but eventually got back up and fought on!

One final positive for Rover’s today was the return of striker Nathan Tyson, who came on as a substitute in the second half, and really became a threat as Rover’s went into the 4-3-3 formation. Tyson, also battled with Meredith for the ball on the side of the pitch when he elbowed Meredith off of the pitch, and into hoarding.

So, that was Rob Jones’s last game in-charge before he returns to his normal duties and Ferguson takes over! Ferguson will be – just like the fans – looking for a reaction after this disappointing game on Tuesday nights match against Shrewsbury. Will it be Rover’s first win away this season? I certainly hope so!

My Man of the Match: Richie Wellens

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