Here are the views of a fairly confident Doncaster Rovers fan ahead of our midweek Football League Trophy clash..
Thanks to REP for posing the questions
How do you think Port Vale and other teams will fare this week? If you fancy your chances why not take part in online football betting at Best Betting Websites where you will find betting tips, links and special offers.
About the fan…
I’m Lewis Ward, 24-years-old, from Doncaster and a season ticket holder for thirteen years. I’ve watched Doncaster Rovers in the Conference, Division Three, League One, The Championship and now, unfortunately League Two. From being mascot against Swansea many years ago to writing a blog about the club in more recent times, Doncaster Rovers have been in my blood for as long as I can remember and I wouldn’t change a thing!
About the opposition…
How do you think about the controversial changes to the Football League Trophy?
The change to the EFL Trophy is an outrage. We’ve all heard the rumours about a proposed “League Three” and the change to this competition seems to be the first step to that becoming a reality. As lower league clubs, our biggest chance of winning a trophy feels as though it has been ripped out of our hands.
On a personal level, I haven’t been to any of the games so far. It is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Of course I want my club to do well in the competition, but it is difficult to show support of the Football League’s changes. Hopefully the competition is seen as a failure and the previous format will return. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
Who should we watch out for in the Rovers squad?
In the past rounds Darren Ferguson has given the chance to our fringe players to impress in the competition but it’s hard to predict who will feature on Tuesday.
There are a few names to look out for – one is midfielder Tommy Rowe. His experience and composure means he pulls the strings in our side. With six goals to his name so far, he certainly knows how to make his mark in more ways than one.
The other man I want to point out is John Marquis. He helped Northampton to promotion last season and it’s clear to see why. He’s not afraid to dive into a challenge and comes up with the results time and time again. He’s an outstanding signing, he doesn’t look like he’s going to get tired – just watch his goal against Wycombe!
Your favourite cup moment?
My favourite moment from the EFL Trophy, or Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, has got to be from the year we won it. The final had everything. From going 2-0 up within the first five minutes, to being pegged back to 2-2 and having to face extra time, it was certainly a nailbiter! That moment Graeme Lee’s header hit the back of the net for our third is a moment that will stick with me forever.
A score prediction?
I think it will be a tight affair, but I think we’ll take the points with an early goal. It seems likely we’ll play the young fringe players like in previous fixtures so far and I reckon Alfie Beestin will pop up with a goal from midfield for a 1-0 victory.
About the Vale…
Which players do you fear?
Being a supporter of a League Two side, I’ve not really been keeping an eye on the league above! Alex Jones looks to be Vale’s biggest threat and has chipped in with a few goals already this season. As long as he doesn’t find the net in our game, we’ll be happy. Martin Paterson has been around the block a few times too and certainly knows what he is doing on the pitch.
A guide for Vale fans…
Can you tell us something about your side we may not know?
1. In 1946, Rovers took part in the longest ever competitive match with Stockport County at Edgeley Park. With the game at 2-2 at full time, two periods of extra time saw no more goals and lead to a golden goal style decider. The game was eventually abandoned at 203 minutes with no winner and visibility worsening. Supporters are said to have gone home for tea before returning to watch the end of the game!
2. Harry Gregg was a Doncaster Rovers player before being sold to Manchester United for a world record fee for a goalkeeper of £23,500.
3. The current Rovers badge was produced as part of a sponsorship deal with a local Rover car dealership.
What about a recommended blog or forum?
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group (DRSG) have a great website with features, match reports and more and have helped with initiatives at the club such as the “Black Bank” group who produce the atmosphere at games. They can be found at www.doncasterroverssupportersgroup.org.
The Popular Stand Fanzine always provides a brilliant read with plenty of laughs along the way! Find them at popularstand.wordpress.com.
Any recommendations for pubs, food and parking?
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat or a drink around the ground before the game, away supporters are welcome in the Belle Vue Bar in the Stadium. They offer deals on drinks and also a range of foods from classic pie and peas to homemade dishes. The Lakeside Shopping Outlet at the side of the ground has plenty of places to eat including the Beafeater Lakeside pub. Head the opposite way around the lake and you’ll find the Cheswold family pub, Pizza Express and Nandos. There are plenty of away friendly pubs in the town centre if you are travelling by train.