Back in business as Stock calls tune and Keegan looks a prospect

Like a conductor in an Orchestra: Brian Stock's return was the key to our home win over Burnley. Picture: Liz Mockler
Like a conductor in an Orchestra: Brian Stock's return was the key to our home win over Burnley. Picture: Liz Mockler
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WE may not have played over the weekend due to our early exit from the FA Cup at Wolves, but the Cup did bring us some good news.

With Swansea being our opponents on fifth round day, at home to Leyton Orient, it looked as though our league game that day would have to be cancelled,

But the magic of the Cup brought about an upset which means we don’t have to travel to darkest Wales on a Tuesday night for a re-arranged game.

What a difference a week makes.

Last Tuesday against Barnsley we looked a team lacking in confidence and self-belief and let our near neighbours go back to Dingle land with the points.

But this week what a performance the lads put in against Burnley at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goalkeeper Gary Woods came in for his debut and kept a clean sheet - what more could you ask for.

But it was the return of Brian Stock that made the difference.

He was like the conductor in an orchestra, waving his baton to his band of men, and lasted 80 minutes.

His return freed John Oster into a role he relishes, and Donny’s new Keegan played a brilliant supporting role on his full debut.

Sean said after the game that Brian would not have played if he thought Paul Keegan was not up to the job. But if Paul can keep that performance up the future looks bright.

Again the defence was changed around, but Jimmy O’Connor and Sam Hird made a great combination - although Sean did say afterwards he would rather have two tall centre-backs for when Coventry visit in a couple of weeks’ time.

The players attacked as a team, defended as a team, and played as a team, and despite a few minutes at the start of the second half we contained an experienced and proven Burnley team.

The winning goal when it came was from an unlikely source, and is bound to feature in Soccer A.M. “Taxi For” a certain Mr Duff....

It was a surreal moment as the defender could have headed it anywhere, but what a finish.

Unfortunately, James Hayter picked up an injury, but his replacement Steve Brooker looked like he had a point to prove when coming on at half-time.

I was asked to help summarize on Rovers Players live commentary just before kick-off.

I had no time to prepare but it was nice to help out again and to be in contact with fans all round the globe in all different time zones - Dubai, Australia, Portland in Oregon USA, and all over the UK including Cardiff, Carlisle, London the South West, and Stocky’s sister Mickey in Southampton and even fans in the Donny area.

Tomorrow sees us enter the ‘Lions’ Den’ on Dockers Day at Millwall. I will have to dig out my flat cap and braces!

Rovers have done well on our last couple of visits to the New Den which is not as intimidating as the old ground.

The Lions are in a rich vein of form at home so it’s not going to be easy. But if we show the spirit shown on Tuesday, the wheels will begin to roll...

There are still seats on the Supporters’ Club coaches on Saturday, which depart: Retford 8.00, Harworth 8.05, Bawtry/Rossington 8.15, Hare and Tortoise 8.20, Infirmary 8.30 and Keepmoat 8.45.

The weekend trip to Weston Super Mare is now fully subscribed; also please book early for the game at Leeds.

The Supporters Club, in conjunction with NSPCC/Rovers Inka Trek, are holding a Race Night on Friday March 18 at 7.45pm at the Toad Brewery opposite Car Park 3 of the Keepmoat. We are also looking for £20 race sponsors (ring me on 07961-727769).