Doncaster Rovers are facing a nail-biting ninety minutes today as they head south for the club’s biggest game in years.
Brian Flynn’s side take on Brentford this afternoon with the victors of the “winner takes all” crunch match securing promotion to the Championship.
Nearly 2,000 Rovers fans are heading to the game, piling onto supporters’ club coaches, trains and into cars with hundreds more crowding pubs and clubs back in Doncaster to listen to the game on radio and watch score updates on television.
Rovers, who have topped the League One table for much of the last few months, could still clinch the title if already-promoted Bournemouth fail to win at Tranmere and they secure victory at Brentford’s Griffin Park.
A draw is also enough to return Rovers to English football’s second tier at the first time of asking - but defeat will hand their hosts promotion and condemn the Keepmoat side to the play-offs - where they could face a mouthwatering showdown with South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United.
Chairman John Ryan has issued a rallying cry and said: “Its amazing how the fixtures have fallen and thrown up this as our final game. We are taking some 2,000 fans south with us and I know they will roar us on.”
Griffin Park is expected to be packed to near its 12,000 capacity and tickets for Rovers fans sold out several weeks ago.
Nervous supporters were setting off on early morning trains from Doncaster station while 10 coaches were due to leave the Keepmoat at 9.15am.
Fans admitted they were expecting a rollercoaster of emotions ahead of the game and one supporter, Beth Epton, said: “Nervous, yes, excited yes - but it wouldn’t be the Rovers without nervous excitement though. We are the best away team in the country so bring it on.”
Fellow fan Andrew Sharpe said: “Whatever happens, we will be there following Rovers whatever league they are in.”
Marlon Arbones said: “We do things the hard way and its going to be nail biting stuff - I’m down to the elbows! But hey, that’s football.”
Those unable to get to the match, which kicks off at 3pm, can listen to it live in the Belle Vue bar at the Keepmoat.
All 1,800 tickets that were allocated to Rovers were sold out within an hour of going on general sale but fans left back at home won’t miss a kick with live commentary on club website Rovers Player being broadcast through speakers.
The bar will open its doors at 2pm for fans to enjoy the final day drama in familiar surroundings.
The game is not being screened live on television but both the BBC and Sky will have regular updates from the match while scores more are expected to follow every kick of the match on Twitter and the web.