Doncaster Rovers home in Cup

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DONCASTER Rovers were paired with Blue Square Bet (North) League Bradford Park Avenue at the Keepmoat Stadium in yesterday’s FA Cup first round draw.

Expected to be played on Saturday week, the game will be only the second ever meeting between the two clubs in the competition.

They met in a first round tie at Belle Vue back in the 1964-65 season, when both clubs were in the old Division Four, with a brace of goals by the legendary Alick Jeffrey helping to secure Rovers a 3-2 win.

Contesting the first round draw for the first time in five years, Rovers will be meeting the West Yorkshire club for the second time in recent months - the sides drew 3-3 in a pre-season game at the Horsfall Stadium.

Young defender Liam Wakefield has recently returned from a loan spell at the club.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders, meanwhile, is set to unveil a new defender today in a bid to bolster his injury-hit back four.

Already without centre-back Jamie McCombe for a long spell, Saunders could be without both centre-backs who started Saturday’s game against Brentford at the Keepmoat Stadium in tomorrow’s testing League One game against league leaders Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

Shelton Martis limped off with a groin problem and skipper Rob Jones suffered a suspected broken thumb.

To add to Saunders’ worries, young left-back James Husband was left out of the squad with a lower back problem, while right-back Paul Quinn (hip) played despite not having trained all week.

The injuries took some of the gloss off Rovers’ 2-1 win over the Bees which saw them climb into seventh spot in the table. Rovers had fallen behind on the stroke of half-time.

“Kyle Bennett had a great chance (on 15 minutes) but smashed it over the bar, but they also had chances and I had been hoping that we would come in at 0-0 because we hadn’t been playing well and we were having trouble getting enough of the ball,” said Saunders.

“I had a few words at half-time and we dug in and showed some desire to get the points in the second half and score two fantastic goals.

“David Cotterill’s goal was a great goal as was Billy Paynter’s. He got to the ball first in the box and it was a great header and hopefully that will help kick start his season.”

Although delighted to see his side extend their unbeaten league record to three games, Saunders admitted to having some sympathy for Brentford who had looked the better side for long periods.