Battle of the Rovers

Flashback: Doncaster's Brian Stock with Tranmere's Adnan Ahmed when the sides met in November 2007 - but Stock won't make the Carling Cuo clash because of injury. Picture: Steve Taylor

Flashback: Doncaster's Brian Stock with Tranmere's Adnan Ahmed when the sides met in November 2007 - but Stock won't make the Carling Cuo clash because of injury. Picture: Steve Taylor

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DONCASTER Rovers and Tranmere Rovers will cross swords for the first time in the Carling Cup in August.

The rival Rovers were paired together in yesterday’s regionalised first round draw with seeded Doncaster being drawn out first. The game is likely to be played at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday, August 9.

The South Yorkshire side have made little impact in the competition since their run to the quarter-finals during Dave Penney’s spell in charge in the 2005-06 season.

Although the two clubs have never met in the League Cup, they have played each other on four occasions in the FA Cup, with the tally standing 3-1 in Doncaster’s favour.

The two teams last met in League One in Doncaster’s promotion-winning campaign of 2007-08, the South Yorkshire side winning 1-0 at Prenton Park after being held to a goalless draw at home earlier in the season.

Rovers’ main priority next season next season, however, remains the Championship.

“It will be a tough league but it will be an exciting one and if we can keep our first eleven out on the pitch a bit more often than we did last season then we’ve got a good chance of doing well,” said chairman John Ryan.

“I think the three relegated teams, West Ham, Birmingham and Blackpool, look to be stronger than the three which came down last season - two of whom had financial problems.

“The teams coming up, particularly Brighton and Southampton, look very strong. Peterborough scored a lot of goals but it looks as though they will be losing Mackail-Smith.

“It’s disappointing that we’ll be without the likes of Brian Stock at the start of the season. He reckons that he’ll be back by the end of August, but I think if we can get him back by mid-October that would be a great boost to us.”

The club, who have admitted that season ticket sales are down on the same period last year, have extended the deadline for reduced prices until June 24.

Ryan repeated his appeal to season ticket holders to renew their tickets - a plea endorsed by chief executive Dave Morris.

“A season ticket still represents the best value for a regular supporter,” he said.

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