DONCASTER Rovers became the first side to beat League One leaders Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Tuesday. Former Tranmere favourite Iain Hume grabbed an injury-time winner to reward a gutsy showing.
But Star readers nearly missed out on reading about the game in Wednesday’s paper as I was unable to acess my email due to a problem with the stadium’s wi-fi.
A Tranmere club official offered to help by copying what I had written in word but he disappeared after the match and I had to run all over the place carrying my computer to track him down inside the main stand. I was probably as shattered as the players when I left the stadium having just beaten my two deadlines.
Doncaster Knights recorded their first Championship win of the season on Friday, but made hard work of beating fellow strugglers Moseley 24-16 at Castle Park.
After posting their first win in any competition the previous week in their second B & I Cup Pool 8 group game at Nottingham, Knights looked set to coast to victory when leading 21-8 at half-time courtesy of two tries by winger Tyson Lewis, the second of which was worth the admission money alone.
But Knights took their foot off the pedal in the second half and had Moseley’s late try come a bit earlier they could have found themselves in trouble.
I made my second visit to Meadow Lane in eight days on Saturday - I was there for the Knights’ match - expecting a cracking encounter between Notts County and Doncaster Rovers. That didn’t turn out to be the case and the first half was one of the most incident-free games I’ve seen for a long time. Rovers set out their stall and the fifth-placed Magpies could make little impression on Rob Jones and co.
With Rovers failing to hit the target with their only two efforts on goal, there was little to goalmouth action to help the crowd, or the media, to forget the cold.
Even the tea in the media room at the interval was lukewarm.
Half-a-dozen pigeons spent long periods on the main stand side of the pitch in the first half but even they must have been bored by the lack of action and flew off during the break.
Thankfully, the second half was a lot better and two goals in as many minutes just past the hour mark decided the game in Rovers’ favour.
“They put us under a bit of pressure from their wide free-kicks and corners but we hung in there and kept them out and I think the wind helped us in the second half and we scored two early goals and I thought we were comfortable after that,” said Rovers’ striker Chris Brown who scored the second goal.
“They are a good side but they had been struggling for a bit of form at home recently so we thought if we could ride the first 20 minutes their fans might turn on them, and we did that and we played ourselves into the game and in the end I thought we thoroughly deserved the win.”
Now up to fifth, Rovers have emerged as strong promotion contenders over the last week or so. Saunders deserves a lot of credit for putting such a competitive side together despite having to work on a tight budget.
Notts County’s programme was voted the best in League One last season and having read Saturday’s publication I wouldn’t be surprised if the Magpies won it again. I was most impressed.