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Archived News from February 2004

22nd February 2004 17:47

Top of the League again

By Martin Haythorne
a Double Salvo from Greg blundell see's off Mansfield, and Rovers hit the top as Hull begin to slide. Could this little Pub Team be on its way up again?
Hull City, the chokingest of Chokers throw away a perfectly good lead at the top of the table to a Pub team once again. Losing at home to Torquay puts Hull in second, two places above where they are due to finish, the other promotion definites looking like any 3 from Mansfield, Oxford, Huddersfield and the old enemy Yeovil.
Greg Blundell, in his first full time season , not only his first Football League Season caps of a defiant Doncaster display with two goals of blissful eloquence, a chip and a balletic turn too much for the Mansfield Keeper. Mansfield took the lead with a dubious Penalty that Andy Warrington narrowly missed saving, but no Rovers fan would allow the big man to be criticized.

The Midfield Duo that won the Playoff Final at Stoke for us, it must be the youngest in the League, once again proved if your good enough your old enough, and with McIndoe having another winger as his opposite number the tricks began. It will feature this week, you'll see it.

The back four had Mulligan as the new recruit and although he started slowly his second half performance won rave reviews, maybe he is more than a stand in? If he takes his chance well done to him I say.

32 games gone and top of the league, remember in the Summer when the Northern Pub Team were Favorites for Relegation?

Nothing has been won yet, but the season itself is a small victory for Dave Penney, proving last season was no fluke.
Sport First match report:
By John Lomas
transcribed by Carole

Gregg's great:

GREGG BLUNDELL'S two second-half goals fired Doncaster to the top of Division 3 and completed a memorable double over local and promotion rivals, Mansfield.

Aiming to claw their way back into the top three, Mansfield led at the break through a Liam Lawrence penalty but didn't look too convincing as the visitors created the better chances.

Rovers then turned the game on its head after the break with two goals inside eight minutes and Mansfield simply had no answer to the double blow.

Coupled with Hull's defeat, the victory lifted Rovers to the top of the tree and delighted Rovers manager Dave Penney, who said: “I've got to be pleased with this. We showed great character to come here and win, especially having to come from behind.

“The game was probably even in the first half as Mansfield looked quite bright and sharp on the break, as did we. All in all it was a good game of football.”

The first half was a tense affair, so tense it ended up with several players from each side squaring up in stoppage time. But Doncaster looked the more inventive and should have been at least level at the break.

Mark Albrighton saw a free header fly over the bar and after 35 minutes he beat Kevin Pilkington with a shot that came off the top of the crossbar.

Also Leo Fortune-West saw Pilkington save his looping header.

But it was Mansfield that ended the half in the driving seat after Liam Lawrence had tucked away his ninth penalty success of the season. Tim Ryan had handled the ball and although Lawrence's penalty was a tame one, keeper Andy Warrington could only half stop it and looked on as it trickled over the line for Lawrence's 16th goal of the season.

But Blundell produced a deserved equaliser for Doncaster on the hour. J.J. Melligan flicked the ball on and Blundell sat keeper Pilkington down before lifting a superb finish over him.

Then, eight minutes later, a Melligan cross was headed down by fortune West and Blundell popped up with another food finish from eight yards.

The result was a huge disappointment and Mansfield boss Keith Curle said: “We just didn't handle the pressure well.

“Too many of my players were on the back foot and not doing the job required of them.”

Mansfield ………………Doncaster
53----------Possession %---- 47
3-----------Yellow Cards--------1
0-----------Red Cards-----------0
5-----------Shots on Target----13
5-----------Shots off Target-----6
0-----------Hit Woodwork--------1


Latest | February 2004