Doncaster needed a 10 goal swing to be able to survive in league one, and Burton just needed to take a point to ensure promotion to the Championship, as the final day of the football league season 2015/16 came to a devastating end.
Four changes for Rovers saw, Evina dropped, due to injury to the neck, and Taylor-Sinclair come in. Coppinger, also for injury was dropped, and in came Richard Chaplow, and Tyson was benched for Mandeville, also Riccardo Calder had been dropped for Middleton.
Rovers XI: Matthews; Lund, Alcock, Butler(c), Taylor-Sinclair; McCullough, Rowe, Chaplow, Middleton; Mandeville and Williams.
Rovers Bench: Marosi, Tyson, Pugh, Whitehouse, Davies, Calder and Longbottom.
Burton XI: McLaughlin, Edwards, Mousinho, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory, Choudhury, Askins, Naylor, Palmer, Duffy and Beavon.
Burton Bench: Bywater, Reilly, Weir, Butcher, Myers-Harness, Walker and O’Connor.
Going into the match we all knew that Doncaster were all but relegated, so all we had to play for was pride, and to give us, the fans, a performance for our final home game, as that is the least we deserve. However, Burton needed just one point to secure promotion to the Championship.
During the first half it wasn’t too entertaining, and neither team really challenged either goalkeeper, so it felt quite relaxed.
Taylor-Sinclair had a chance to cross the ball into quite a busy box, but when he tried to cross it, it was too low, and was easily intercepted by the opposition.
Remi Matthews was tested by Burton before half time when he had to dive down to his right hand side post to collect the ball, but that was just a bog-standard save to say the least.
Again, like previous matches, two midfielders Luke McCullough and Tommy Rowe, were exceptional, although I do think that Rowe didn’t have his best game in a Rovers shirt, he still had a good game non-the-less.
During the second half we had a penalty shout when Williams went down in the box, and I do think from first sight that it was a penalty, but the referee was in a good position, and if he said no there is not much we could do to persuade him.
The second half, also saw Will Longbottom make his debut for Doncaster, and the youngster seemed to do okay during the time that he was on the pitch for, but I think he needs a bit more of strength training, before coming into the first team on a regular basis, but other than that I’m excited to see his development here at our club, because he looked really promising.
McCullough worked tirelessly in his defensive midfield roll, putting in some vital tackles, and making some very good interceptions to break down Burton’s attacks. He also played some good balls into our attacking half, but unfortunately upfront we was not good enough today.
Defensively today we seemed quite solid, because we was down to 9 men, due to injuries to Calder and Taylor-Sinclair and we had used all of our substitutions. By this point Burton took advantage, and attacked for what was roughly the last 10-7 minuets of the match, but superb defending from our team kept us a clean sheet. With some good saves coming from on-loan goalkeeper Remi Mattews, who probably had his best game in a Rovers top.
But, as we knew from start, a 0-0 wouldn’t be enough for us to survive so by the full-time whistle we was eventually put out of our misery. I know for a fact it will be the last time we see some of them players today, and I look forward to the summer ahead where I expect there to be a massive clear out, and change around the club.
My Man of the Match: Luke McCullough
A massive congratulations to Burton Albion on promotion to the Championship, it’s a massive time in history for you. Hopefully we’ll meet you in the Championship in a few years!