DONCASTER ROVERS: Strike duo’s tough test

Partnership: Chris Brown is set to be rejoined by Billy Paynter up front
Partnership: Chris Brown is set to be rejoined by Billy Paynter up front
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DONCASTER Rovers star Billy Paynter looks set to resume his blossoming strike partnership with Chris Brown in tomorrow’s home game against Stevenage.

The former Swindon Town and Leeds United forward, who has missed the last two games with a thigh injury, trained yesterday for the first time in six days and will come into contention if he suffers no adverse reaction.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders is keen to have as much fire-power on board as possible for what he describes as the club’s ‘toughest game of the season so far.’

“We are playing the second in the league and who are unbeaten so it will be a good result if we beat them.

“They’ve done brilliantly because they lost a lot of their best players during the summer and yet they have managed to come out and start like they have; it’s credit to everyone at the club that they have managed to do what they have done.

“But it doesn’t surprise me because there is a tremendous team spirit at the club and it has helped guide them right from the Conference to where they are now in League One and they are still getting results.

“Everybody thinks that they just launch the ball and are just big and strong. They are, but they also play football as well and their manager has done a terrific job since taking over from Graham Westley.

“I think that we’ll have to play really well and also have a bit of luck on our side, to get a result.”

Saunders is aware of Stevenage’s defensive record and the part played by centre-backs Jon Ashton and Mark Roberts. He was rebuffed by the club during the summer when checking out their availability.

“They were two of the players on an A4 sheet of paper filled with names of centre-backs,” he told The Star. “They are both big strong players but I wouldn’t swop them for Rob Jones and Jamie McCombe, who I didn’t know would become available later at the time.”

Doncaster Rovers Belles will be playing Birmingham City Ladies in an WSL match at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend after all. The game was switched to Birmingham’s ground by the WSL. But following complaints from several sides it will now be played on Sunday at 7.45pm.