STEVE HOSSACK: Is grass so much Greener on Derby side for Paul?

0
Have your say

TUESDAY

DONCASTER Rovers retained their impressive 100 per cent record in league games at Pride Park since their return to the second tier of English football three years ago, with an impressive 3-1 win over Derby County.

The Rams, who had beaten Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium earlier in the season, looked capable of completing the double in the first half.

But goals either side of half-time by Billy Sharp, turned the game on its head and Rovers could have had several more goals before Derby pulled one back.

Former Rovers’ favourite Paul Green came in for some friendly taunting from the Doncaster fans concerning his decision to join the Rams.

I’ve not had the chance to speak to Greenie, who was out of contract in the summer, since he left within days of helping them beat Leeds in the 2007-08 League One Promotion Play Off Final at Wembley.

But by all accounts the deal had been agreed long before Rovers beat Leeds to book their place in the Championship.

Green moved for a reported £6,000 a week pay packet. And he must have thought his prospects of playing in the top flight - where the Rams were playing at the time - will have seemed far greater than with Rovers.

Unfortunately for Green that has not proved to be the case and the odds are on Rovers finishing above the Rams for a third successive season.

Sharp surprised the media when announcing during a post-match interview that he had a hernia which would require surgery and that was what was causing him to have problems with his groin.

FRIDAY

ROVERS signed Spurs’ keeper Ben Alnwick on a month’s loan as cover for Neil Sullivan,

SATURDAY

NOT every football fan living in Doncaster will have been unhappy with Rovers 5-2 Championship defeat by Leeds at Elland Road judging by the number of cars hailing from this neck of the woods with Leeds stickers I spotted on the way to the ground.

Not that, I suspect, many of them expected to see a match where seven goals were scored and that figure could have easily have been doubled.

Given the improvement in Rovers performances, and the fact that the injury situation was improving, and Leeds hadn’t won in three games, I didn’t expect the first half that the 27,000 crowd were served up.

Although the teams went in 1-1 at the interval, Leeds should have been out of sight long before Sharp levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time.

The two Leeds’ wingers, Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel, were in top form and created a string of chances in probably the most one-sided first half I’ve seen all season.

Rovers gave a much better account of themselves in the second half and briefly took the lead.

Leeds quickly restored parity, though Rovers had a couple of chances in quick succession to regain the lead, and scored another three in the last 20 minutes.

The 4-1 score line didn’t reflect the second half, but overall Rovers can’t complain about the final result.

Regular readers of this column - a surprising number of the media certainly did on Saturday - may well remember the story of how I walked into a solid concrete low roof support in the press lounge and knocked myself out on my last visit to Elland Road.

I noticed that the club have now put warning signs on the supports in question.

The Dons apparentlymade hard work of beating National Conference League Premier Division leaders Thatto Heath in the Carnegie Challenge Cup third round at the Keepmoat Stadium. The Lancashire club’s feat in restricting the Dons to a 34-22 winning margin was one of the better efforts in games between Championship sides and amateur sides.

Such were the number of runaway wins I feel it is time the Rugby Football League looked at restricting the number of amateur sides given the paltry crowds at most games.

MONDAY

FORMER Rovers’ boss Dave Penney was sacked by League One strugglers Bristol Rovers after just 13 games in charge.

The Pirates lost nine of their games during Penney’s brief spell in charge, and remain in the relegation zone.

During his time at Belle Vue he won promotion, a league title and steered Rovers to the last-eight of the Carling Cup.

But that will count for little in future if he fails to do the business at his next club . . . if there is one.