How Bennett’s trickery left me with a sore head

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DESPITE covering football as part of my job since the 1970s, I’m not normally given to dreaming about footballers but I did on THURSDAY night and I’ve got the scars to prove it.

I had spoken to Rovers boss Dean Saunders at that afternoon’s press conference at Cantley Park in the build-up to the Peterborough United game about Kyle Bennett, who had scored the winner in the game between the two clubs at London Road earlier in the season.

Bennett had been left out of the squad for the game against Leeds United, and given the fact that he had helped turn the game against the Posh after coming off the bench I asked the Doncaster boss whether he was likely to feature in his plans at the weekend. I also spoke to the player, tipped one day to play in the top flight.

Little did I think when I went to bed that night that I would wake up around 5.30am with blood streaming down my face because of Bennett’s pace and trickery.

Dreaming is an important part of the sleep process, yet most people have no recollection of their dreams when they wake up.

In my dream I was defending against Bennett - I don’t know why because I was never a defender in my playing days - and he was running across the penalty box and he suddenly stopped on a sixpence, as he does, and ‘wrong-footed’ me to such an extent that I must have quickly moved my body (which must been close to the edge of the bed) to one side and I caught my head on the corner of the bedside cabinet.

I immediately woke up, feeling relieved that I hadn’t gone the other way and ‘headbutted’ my wife, and felt something warm running down my face. I got up and looked in the mirror and saw that I had gashed my forehead.

FRIDAY: Doncaster Knights completed a gruelling schedule of four Championship games in 10 days away to league leaders Bristol. Even though the home side ran up their biggest score of the season, Knights probably did better than a lot of people expected of them in the circumstances.

SATURDAY: I rarely get the chance to watch Soccer A.M. but I made a point of finding time to watch it today in view of the fact that Rovers were featured.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders was interviewed at the club’s training ground and showed the Sky film crew around the complex.

Saunders dropped Sam Hird, one of the team’s most consistent players in recent months, along with fellow centre-back Adam Lockwood following the 3-2 defeat at Leeds. He recalled Bennett to the starting line-up and I was hoping that he didn’t do anything spectacular which might lead to another painful dream - though I have moved the said cabinet a few inches more away from the bed.

For the second week in succession, Rovers let a match-winning lead slip away and such failings could prove costly come May. Saunders admits that he doesn’t sleep well when Rovers don’t win, but I am pleased to say that I did that night.

SUNDAY: The Northern Rail Cup [NRC] Pool B between the Dons and Sheffield Eagles turned out to be surprisingly one-sided, Eagles cruising to a comprehensive 56-12 win.

Mark Aston’s side have never reached the NRC final but it is going to take a good side to stop them reaching Blackpool this season on this sort of form.