Bad memories of last meeting


DONCASTER Rovers could well have been lining up against Billy Sharp and James Coppinger in tomorrow’s Championship encounter against Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

The Tractor Boys had a £2.6 million bid for the pair of them rejected by Rovers during the summer.

Town’s interest in Sharp was fuelled by an impressive two-goal showing in the corresponding game at Portman Road last January when new boss Paul Jewell celebrated his first home game in charge by seeing his side come from behind to win 3-2.

Rovers had grounds for feeling that they had done enough to pick up a result on the day but they can have no complaints about the result in the re-arranged return at the Keepmoat Stadium, where they lost 6-0.

There was no sign of what lay in store for injury-hit Rovers when it was 0-0 midway through the first half and it took an own goal by defender Sam Hird to kick-start the rout.

The visitors added a couple more before the break and three more without reply in the second half as Rovers slumped to their biggest ever home defeat in the league.

Teenager striker Connor Wickham, who had become the youngest-ever Ipswich player to play first-team football when making his debut against Rovers at Portman Road the previous season, scored a hat-trick.

Wickham, who was being tracked by a number of top clubs, made an £8m move to Sunderland this season with Jewell bringing in Cardiff’s Michael Chopra.

Chopra, who scored 65 goals in 162 appearances for the Bluebirds, is Ipswich’s joint-top scorer with five along with midfielder Keith Andrews, who joined the club on a six-month loan from Blackburn Rovers at the start of the season.

The Portman Road side will go into tomorrow’s game on the back of successive defeats and were beaten 4-1 at Millwall last weekend.

Town’s hopes of avoiding a third successive defeat will not be helped by the absence of veteran Lee Bowyer (back), Ibrahima Somko (hamstring) and Damien Delaney (foot).

Strikers Nathan Ellington and Daryl Murphy may also need late fitness tests.

Carlos Edwards, who scored one of the goals in last year’s clash, has been called up into the Trinidad & Tobago World Cup qualifier double header against Guyana.

Striker Tamas Priskin has also been named in the Hungary squad for their two friendlies during the international break.