March a crucial month in Rovers’ survival hopes

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IF DONCASTER Rovers’ games lasted 89 minutes we would have been out of the Championship relegation zone by now.

I certainly wouldn’t let Rovers take my dog for a walk at this moment in time because they would not be able to keep hold of the lead.

Many Rovers fans were shocked to see both centre-backs from the Leeds United game replaced for the game, especially as Sam Hird had just won the Supporters’ Club Player of the Month award, which was presented to him prior to kick off.

We took the lead with Giles Barnes’ first of the campaign, and despite Posh throwing everything at us in the second half, the hard work had been done.

But we messed up one of our own corners in stoppage-time and let the ball get back into our penalty area for Tyrone Barnett. their new £1 million pound signing, to head home.

It was so gutting, particularly as fellow strugglers Coventry scored a last-gasp winner against Barnsley, and Nottingham Forest had beaten Birmingham in their own back yard.

Brighton come to the Keepmoat, after a 3-0 home victory on Saturday, a reverse fixture of the opening day.

I think Lewis Dunk, if he plays, might well get some stick for putting Sharpy out of action for nearly two months with a cynical tackle in the game at Brighton.

This was another game where we conceded a very late goal to deny us victory.

We have a short trip to the City Ground on Tuesday to take on Forest. They have picked up some good results lately. Could it be that be that former Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll, recently installed as first-team coach is starting to work his magic?

We need to win both the games to give us any realistic chance of beating the drop, but I remain hopeful.

March is a manic month, and with two re-arranged games added to an already busy schedule it is likely to be make-or-break.

Good to see Barry Watson one of the club’s historians, and Supporters’ Club programme man, return to the press box after a long injury.

The Supporters’ Club had a good trip to the dogs at Stainforth last Friday. Why not come to the ten pin bowling night on March 14th with the players? But you must book well in advance.

The Club held its first over 50’s Supporters’ night with Stewart Piper (Dons’ legend), Rovers’ media manager Steve Uttley and Belles’ boss John Buckley as guest speakers, and had a stadium tour courtesy of Richard Bailey.

Buses to Forest on Tuesday leave Retford at 4.35pm and pick up at Harworth 4.50, Bawtry/Rossington 5.00, Hare and Tortoise 5.05,Sprotbrough Ivanhoe 5.05, Infirmary 5.15 and Keepmoat 5.30. Seats still available at £11 (adult) £10 (OAPs) and £9 (Under 16s). Please add £2 if you are not a Supporters’ Club member.

We are also taking bookings for the West Ham United game on Saturday week. Again, please book early.

The North Branch is also running bus to West Ham (phone 07780316923). For all other buses call myself on 07961 727769 or Len South 01302-817347.