WINNING two games on the trot. It doesn’t sound a lot but for Doncaster Rovers that second win has proved a bridge too far for the past year.
In fact, any Rovers fan looking for an omen might just ponder the last time it happened - and persuade themselves that Turf Moor on Boxing Day might just be the next occasion.
It was December 17 last year (that unbelievably freezing cold Friday night) that Rovers beat Middlesbrough 2-1 thanks to a stoppage time goal from Brian Stock.
They had to then wait a fortnight, to New Year’s Day, for their next game and they saw off Scunthorpe 3-0 again at the Keepmoat Stadium.
That represents the last time Rovers won two games in succession.
Now after another December 17 success (over Leicester City) they tackle Burnley hoping they can produce a repeat and make it a happy 12 month anniversary.
They will aim to cash in on Burnley’s up and down home form although they go into this game bouyant after their 1-0 away win at Brighton.
That game saw Brighton have two players, Romain Vincelot and Ashley Barnes, sent off in the first 12 minutes by Sheffield referee Craig Pawson.
A goal just past the half-hour from one-time Barnsley loanee Kieran Trippier proved sufficient but they were made to fight hard by Brighton’s battling nine men.
Burnley boss Eddie Howe described it as “a strange game, really strange” and admitted he didn’t enjoy the later stages when Brighton threatened an equaliser.
He gave speedy striker Martin Paterson his first game since the opening day of the season partnering Jay Rodriguez up front.
Scottish international winger Ross Wallace provides individuality and creativity from the flanks and also adopts a floating role.
In goal is the former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Lee Grant.
Burnley, fourth from bottom recently, have won four of their last five games to climb into the top half of the table. The only defeat was by 1-0 to Portsmouth in their last home game.
Teams and ref
ROVERS (possible): Woods; O’Connor, Beye, Hird, Ilunga; Coppinger, Gillett, Stock, Barnes, Diouf.
BURNLEY (possible): Grant; Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee; Marney, Bartley, McCann, Wallace; Rodriquez, Paterson.
DAVID WEBB (County Durham): Has issued 67 yellow cards and four reds in 21 matches this season.
One to watch
Martin Paterson: No one has been watching the little striker this season because after he played on opening day, injury has ruled him out since.
But he returned to the side for the last match at Brighton and Boxing Day will mean a return to action in front of the Turf Moor crowd for whom he is a favourite. Therefore they’ll give him a special welcome and he’ll be primed to make it a memorable home return.
A Rovers repeat of last season’s Turf Moor trip would be satisfactory. That game ended in a 1-1 draw - James Hayter, pictured, scoring the Rovers goal. The last win at Clarets’ headquarters for Rovers came back in March 1990 when they won 1-0 - thus stopping Burnley doing the double over them.
In all their meetings, Burnley have won seven and Rovers three with five draws.