Comprehensive guide to our upcoming trip to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Next up for County is a visit to south Yorkshire as we prepare to face ‘The Vikings’ – Doncaster Rovers. The 380-odd mile round trip to the Keepmoat Stadium is one where The Exiles will hope to break the mould of teams who have travelled there before them so far this season in the league and beat them. (D-W-W).
The old market town of Doncaster is home of ‘The Rovers’ who last season were relegated from League 1 after finishing 21st, thus ending their two year stay in League 1. Of course now Rovers find themselves in League 2, only but four years ago they were in the Championship playing recently crowned Premier League Champions Leicester City. Doncaster Rovers F.C was founded in 1879 and became a professional club in 1885. Doncaster have spent the majority of their playing history between the third and fourth tiers of the English football league system and are one of four clubs to win the Division 4/Division 3/League Two title three times. The Keepmoat Stadium also plays host to Doncaster Rovers Belles L.F.C who have won countless National Division and Women’s FA Cup titles in the past.
The Ground – Keepmoat Stadium
Built in 2006 and opened in 2007 this multipurpose sports facility plays host to The Vikings, Doncaster Rovers Belles L.F.C and Doncaster Rugby League Club. Mcfly and Sir Elton John have performed at the Stadium. The attendance of the ground is 15,231 and it has four main stands, The North stand, The East stand, The South stand and The West Stand. The record attendance at the Keepmoat was against Leeds United with 15,001 fans viewing the match that clinched automatic promotion to the championship for Rovers. County fans will be sat in the North Stand, surely making the most noise as we always do on our away trips!
Did you know?
Doncaster Rovers were involved in the longest ever-competitive football match, against Stockport County at Edgeley Park on 30 March 1946, in a Division Three (North) cup tie. The match was deadlocked at 2–2 at 90 minutes, and after two 10-minute periods of extra time there was no further score. The rule at that time was that the game would carry on until one team scored. However, after 203 minutes, and with darkness closing in, the game was finally stopped. Fans were said to have left the game, gone home for their tea, and then gone back to watch the end of the game. Rovers won the replay 4–0, goals coming from Steven Bain, Billy Mortimer and a late double from Graeme Dunne.
The last time County played Doncaster Rovers away from home they were playing in their old stadium Belle Vue on the 14th February 1987: Valentines Day. The match saw County start to try and turn their form around that season. The result ended a period of three months without a win with the goal coming from Roger Gibbins. County managed to hang on and beat The Vikings 1-0.
Boy-band One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, born in Doncaster is a huge fan of Doncaster coupled with the fact he fancied himself as a footballer since an early age not many people were surprised when the globally known pop-star actually signed for the Dons after impressing in a charity match! His band commitments eventually meant Tomlinson only played in a couple of reserve games for Rovers, but he signed a professional contract nonetheless! Jeremy Clarkson is also a fan of the Vikings, attending an FA Trophy match against Frickley United, which he broadcasted on his own chat show. “Is This The Way To Amarillo” Singer Tony Christie completes a trio of famous Donny fans.
The Manager – Darren Ferguson
Ferguson has been in charge of The Vikings since October 2015, seeing them relegated last season. As a player, Ferguson was managed at Manchester United by his father Alex Ferguson, but spent most of his playing career at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wrexham in the lower divisions of English football.
Ferguson's first managerial appointment was as player-manager of League Two Peterborough United in January 2007. After two successive promotions, and guiding the club to the second-tier of English football for the first time in 17 seasons, Ferguson was relieved of his duties on 9th November 2009, with Peterborough United at the foot of The Championship. After this, Preston North End snapped up Ferguson but after a just under a year with The Lilywhites he was relieved of his duties. After being re-appointed Peterborough boss he took the club to the Play-Off final and won promotion to the Championship. Finally after a short break following Ferguson mutually agreeing to leave Peterborough in February 2015 he then took over at Doncaster on 16th October 2015.
Star Player – Gary McSheffery
The 34-year-old experienced left winger has played in the Championship, League One and League Two with Doncaster being the 11th club he has played for in an eighteen year career. McSheffery still possesses a great amount of trickery, flair and pace even if he is considered somewhat of a journeyman! On his day he is a handful for any defender. These attributes earned McSheffery England U18 and U20 caps in the early stages of his career when he was playing for his hometown club Coventry City. McSheffery was on loan at Rovers’ last season and is yet to make an appearance so far for them this term, if he does this weekend the County back line will have to make sure they have their wits about them!
By Car: From the A1(M) join M18 Eastbound at Junction 35 (signposted Hull), or from the M1 and join the M18 Eastbound at Junction 32.
Once on the M18, leave at Junction 3 and take the A6182 towards Doncaster (the stadium is well signposted from Junction 3 and is about one and a half miles away). You will pass a retail park on your left and then at the next island (which has the Lakeside Pub visible behind it) turn left onto White Rose Way. The Lakeside Shopping Centre is now on your right (the stadium is located directly behind the shopping centre). At the next island turn right into the industrial estate, and after passing the Tesco distribution centre on your right, turn right at the bottom of the road and the stadium is further down on your left.
By TrainThe nearest / closest train station to Doncaster Rovers' Keepmoat Stadium is Doncaster Station. Doncaster Station is approximately 2 miles from the stadium so unless you fancy a walk, you may be best catching a bus from outside the station or jumping into one of the taxi's at the rank. There is a dedicated bus service from the Doncaster Interchange bus station, which is another option and runs from around 2 hours before kick off. It's the other side of the shopping centre. It runs every 10 minutes direct to the Stadium.
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