Date:Monday March 9 2009
FACTS AND FIGURES
Founded: September 1879
Nickname: Donny or Rovers
Ground: Keepmoat Stadium - 15,231
Manager: Sean O`Driscoll
Football League Trophy winners : 2006/07
Football League Div 1 Play off Final winners: 2007/08
Division 3 Champions: 2003/04
Fourth Division Champions: 1965/66,1968/69
Record Attendance: 37,149 v Hull City (1948)
Record victory: 10-0 v Darlington (1964)
Record defeat 0 - 12 v Birmingham City (1903)
Record Buy: Matthew Mills - £300,000 - Manchester City
Record Sale: Rufus Brevett - £275,000 to Q.P.R
Record Appearances: Fred Emery, 417
Record Goals: Unknown
The end of the nineties was full of Doom and gloom for our hosts on Tuesday evening. The 97/98 season saw them obtain the unwanted record of most defeats in a season (34) as they dropped out of the league and into the conference. This was closely followed by the imprisonment of then chairman, Ken Richardson, for 4 years following an arson attempt on the main stand at their then home stadium, Belle Vue.
On the 10th May 2003 they returned to the Football League under the leadership of Dave Penney following a play off final win against Dagenham and Redbridge at Stoke City`s Britannia Stadium. In that game Doncaster had much of the early pressure but came up against former R`s favourite Tony Roberts in inspired form as several great saves kept the scores level. Goals from Paul Green and Dave Morley put Rovers into a commanding 2-0 lead but they were pegged back to 2-2 and the game entered extra time. This was the only time in history that the "Golden Goal" method was used to decide which team won promotion and Donny went up thanks to a strike by Francis Tierney.
The magic of Dave Penney continued into their first season back in the Football League as Doncaster won back to back promotion as Champions of Division 3. With the club settled in the "new" League 1 Penney left in August 06 and was replaced by current manager Sean O`Driscoll. His arrival was soon followed by a move to the new Keepmoat Stadium on January 1st 2007, and then a trip to the Millenium Stadium in April 2007 for the Johnstone Paint Trophy. Against Bristol Rovers they raced into an amazing 2-0 lead within the first five minutes, but, as in their play off final a few years earlier, they let the lead slip and agin went into extra time where a late Graham Lee strike saw them victorious.
The 2007/2008 season started slowly for Doncaster but a good second half of the season saw them looking serious play off contenders and only a last day defeat saw them robbed of automatic promotion to the championship. A James Hayter goal at Wembley saw them take a lead against Leeds United, but this time they didn`t let the lead slip and so moved up into the Championship.
This season has been a mixed bag so far for the Doncaster faithful. A poor start saw them bottom of the table at Christmas, but with the New Year came a change of fortune, and an eight game unbeaten run saw them climb into mid table. Safety is not ensured, but the future now looks a lot brighter for the team from the Keepmoat Stadium.
Doncaster Rovers were involved in the longest ever football match. Playing against Stockport County in a Cup Tie in 1946 the game was still 2 apiece at the end of extra time. The referee consulted with the authorities who decided that the game should continue until a winner was found. After around 203 minutes of play the deadlock was still unbroken and darkness forced a halt to the game. Folklore has it that some supporters left the game for their evening meal and then returned for the closing stages! Doncaster won the replayed game 4-0.
Date:Monday March 9 2009
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