Sullivan may be out for weeks as club bid to build on mini-revival
TOMORROW’S rearranged Championship game at Pride Park will take on even greater significance for Doncaster Rovers after Derby County climbed above them following their win over fellow strugglers Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Rovers dropped down to 19th their lowest position of the season following their 1-1 home draw against Watford. But with all the bottom three teams losing, it was another point nearer safety.
Another plus point was the return of leading scorer Billy Sharp, who played a full game after passing a late fitness test on the groin injury which had kept him out for the previous three games.
Another boost for Rovers, who have had as many as 14 players out injured this year, was the inclusion of midfielder Simon Gillett on the bench following his lengthy lay-off with back-to-back medial knee ligament injuries.
But veteran keeper Neil Sullivan was missing after reporting some reaction to the and could be facing several weeks on the sidelines.
Depending on the prognosis, Rovers could decide to try and bring in another experienced keeper on an emergency loan, though No 2 Richard O’Kelly was pleased with 20 year-old rookie Gary Woods’ contribution.
“In Gary’s last game on this pitch he let in six goals (against Ipswich),” said O’Kelly. “But he looked assured on Saturday and his decision-making was very good. So it shows you what sort of character he is, which bodes well for the future.”
Watford took the lead midway through the first half with a goal by leading scorer Danny Graham.
But Rovers drew level just before the break with recent loan signing Jason Euell’s first goal for the club.
“It was a good move by the front two and Jason used all his experience to pop in between the two centre-backs and produce a clever finish,” said O’Kelly.
“It was an important goal because the momentum of the game suddenly changed and we finished the half on the front foot.”
After being limited to an early chance by Euell, who got on the end of a long kick by Woods, Rovers made a change on 70 minutes.
Said O’Kelly: “We took Franck (Moussa) off, who had looked quite lively to be honest, but we felt that Mark Wilson would give us more stability in the centre of the park, and so it transpired. He sewed the middle of the park up a little bit and we started to get on the front foot.
“The crowd were magnificent, with John Ryan’s band at the back of one of the stands, helping to keep everybody going.”