WHAT a frustrating opening two home league games of the season for Doncaster Rovers and their fans.
West Ham had their supporters in full voice in the opening 15 minutes, as man-of-the-match Kevin Nolan opened his account on five minutes after seizing on to Jack Collison’s long ball into the box.
It could have been worse had his next effort not rattled the crossbar. But full credit to the Rovers players. They rolled their sleeves up and took the game to the former Premiership side in the second half and, with a bit more luck, could have equalised.
West Ham had players with 17 England caps between them on the pitch and could even afford to have Carlton Cole on the bench. It wasn’t a bad opening attendance of 11,344, with 3,279 travelling up from east London.
I felt very confident going into the game against Nottingham Forest as we normally are their bogey side. But Lady Luck was again not on our side as Chris Gunter squeezed his header past Gary Woods to give them the three points. It was to be Forest’s only real effort on target all night, whereas we again took the game to the visitors and the football was reminiscent of our opening season in the Championship.
Forest had new £1.2 million striker Ishmael Miller on the bench - how we can only dream of such luxuries.
I thought the defence was very solid, the midfield very workmanlike and Chris Brown ran his socks off as the lone striker.
Lee Camp in the Forest goal produced some outstanding saves, and on another night our luck might have been in.
The national media were impressed with our style of football. but all agreed we lacked that vital killer instinct in front of goal.
A few eyes were raised with the loan signing of Reece Brown, who had represented England in this summer’ Under-20’s World Cup.
Manchester United apparently waived a loan fee in order to get the player some game time and experience.
Tomorrow sees us make the short trip to Pride Park, a ground which holds some good memories. We played them there and beat them in out first game at this level for 50 years.
Since then there have been two more league wins and an unfortunate defeat in the FA Cup.
We will be meeting up with some old favourites Gareth Roberts and Jason Shackell.
Hopefully we’ll get our first points on the board, though the Rams have started their Championship campaign very well.
We then have a mouth-watering Carling Cup second round tie against Leeds United at the Keepmoat Stadium to look forward to.
I just wish the ticket prices could have been a bit cheaper but both teams have to agree to the price.
Buses to Derby depart Retford 11.15 and pick up at Harworth 11.20, Rossington/Bawtry 11.30, Ivanhoe Sprotborough 11.30, Hare and Tortoise 11.35, Infirmary 11.45 and Keepmoat 12.00.