Retro: Rovers edge 12-goal feast at Belle Vue

Doncaster Rovers FC - photocall'13 August 1982
Doncaster Rovers FC - photocall'13 August 1982

It is a remarkable scoreline, still talked about with fond memories by the Doncaster Rovers fans who were there on that day at Belle Vue back in 1982.

The date was September 25 and in front of an attendance of 3,118, Rovers and opponents Reading played out an incredible 12-goal thriller which eventually saw the hosts triumph 7-5 in one of the most amazing games ever involving the club.

Ian Snodin, Doncaster Rovers.

Ian Snodin, Doncaster Rovers.

Rovers had come into the League Division 3 game buoyed by a 6-1 win over Exeter in their previous home game and Colin Douglas put Rovers in front after just two minutes with a glancing header.

Reading striker Kerry Dixon, who would later go on to enjoy massive scoring success with Chelsea and England before, ironically, later returning to Rovers as manager, levelled things up almost immediately before an Ian Snodin penalty after seven minutes restored the advantage.

Billy Russell made it 3-1 before Dixon grabbed a second and then Ian Snodin, who also later became Rovers manager, struck again to make it 4-2.

Dixon dispatched a penalty and completed his hat-trick to make it 4-3 before Rovers went in 5-3 in front at the break after Snodin also notched his hat-trick from the penalty spot – the third penalty of the game.

Needless to say, the scoring continued after the interval, Dixon grabbing his fourth five minutes after the restart before Tommy Graham struck to make it 6-4 to Rovers.

Reading narrowed the gap through Robinson before Glynn Snodin, Ian’s brother, completed the scoring action with an indirect free kick which was touched into the net by the Royals’ keeper to bring the remarkable final scoreline of Doncaster Rovers 7, Reading 5.

The result came in the midst of a crazy five-week spell. A 6-3 defeat at home to Wigan followed, there was a 5-1 loss at Lincoln and a 4-4 draw with Brentford.

And the 7-5 result did neither club any favours – both were relegated at the end of the season.