Come again you ‘freebie’ fans and cheer us to vital point

'Breath of fresh air': Mustapha Dumbaya can have a great future.     Picture: Liz Mockler
'Breath of fresh air': Mustapha Dumbaya can have a great future. Picture: Liz Mockler
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DURING another nail-biting weekend of Championship football, Sheffield United forgot to read the script which would have seen them relegated.

Their 3-2 victory at the Madjeski Stadium against promotion-chasing Reading - their first win on their travels since November - ensured that they can still fight their way out of trouble at the expense of either ourselves or Crystal Palace.

Although the odds are stacked against them in that they have to win their last two games in addition to clawing back an eight-goal deficit and hope we pick up no further points - Rovers’ fans will still be glued to the radios in Saturday’s home game against Leicester. You will be able to tell how they are going on by the reaction of the crowd.

We would not be sweating if Premier League Peter Walton had given us the decisions we merited against Barnsley on Easter Monday at Oakwell.

How he deemed that Ryan Mason had not been tripped in the box, instead of giving the free kick outside, I will never know.

Or when Jimmy O’Connor had his legs whipped from underneath him, only to get a booking for diving.

I have watched the free-kick which lead to Barnsley’s late equaliser equaliser, and I can’t for the life of me see a foul.

The assistant referee did not help flagging offside when a Barnsley defender clearly headed the ball back to Copps (James Coppinger).

It was great to see Jason Euell score a brace. He has worked tirelesly when he has played. He was outstanding alongside Copps, Mason and Thomas. In fact you could not fault any player.

And Luke Steel in the Barnsley goal, despite making acouple of gaffes, made some wonder saves to deny us. I also thought the support at Oakwell was fantastic, the fans did not stop singing all through the game, a bit like the Palace fans did at our place on Good Friday.

Talking of Good Friday, what a response from the fans, 14,500 inside the ground. Although there were some places spare, that would probably be down to season ticket holders on holiday or working etc.

I know it was free, but if we can entice at least 1,000 of those fans back to another game it would be a great help. We kept our first clean sheet since the Burnley home game. Palace probably had the more clear-cut chances, but we played well and could have nicked the game.

It was a pity that Mustapha Dumbaya picked up a thigh injury, as he is like a breath of fresh air, and is destined for bigger things if he keeps his feet on the ground.

It’s another big game tomorrow against Leicester. A point will do in our efforts to stay in the division.

They hammered us in the second half when we played them at the Walkers Stadium in December after another refereeing howler led to the Foxes being awarded a penalty - a decision for which he later apologised - after Billy Sharp had scored his 100th league goal.

So we owe them one, but they have a very experienced and exciting squad, and we need to protect our goal difference as well.

But I’m confident of the point at least. Again prices have been reduced to £15 adult and £1 a kid. So those freebie fans get back to the Keepmoat! It’s a pity Leicester fans will also benefit from the cheaper tickets as their board stitched us up when we played there, charging us £26, compared to their £6 maximum, but I’m not bitter...

A reminder to book early for Middlesbrough, as buses are at a premium, due to Mansfield Town’s appearance in the FA Trophy final at Wembley the same day and their fans are snapping up a lot of coaches in the area.

I am having a table in front of the West Stand on Saturday if anybody would like to sponsor us on the Inca Trek walk for the NSPCC.

We are trying to get a set of stocks for me, so you can come and chuck wet sponges at me for the charity, now is the time to get your own back if I have ever forgot to put your names on the bus lists...should be a few takers then....

Also if you are coming to the Retford Branch annual dinner dance, on Friday, May 13 at the Charnwood Hotel in Blyth, tomorrow is the cut off day.

Tickets are £21 including a free bus from town. Call me on 07961-727769.