Doncaster Rovers – 0
Nottingham Forest – 1
Just about 2,200 Reds fans had the chance to witness our first win of the season in the bleak Keepmoat arena, cheering on the boys in – well, black and green – with white shorts and socks. A kit combination of epically awful proportions. However, it seems to have done the job – so let’s not get too hung up on the fact that Terry the Kitman is clearly severely colour blind!
As for the starting eleven – well – who’d have predicted it? I don’t think anyone would! Derbyshire got the nod for his debut, whilst Miller had to be content with a spot on the bench, and forgotten-since-opening-day-and-favourite-fans-whipping-boy David McGoldrick was restored not only to the squad, but to the starting eleven.
To compound the unpredictability there was the (in my opinion very welcome) return of Chrissy Cohen into midfield to give it a bit more oomph. So we looked like this:
Moloney Morgan Chambers Gunter
Majewski Greening Cohen Reid
Sort of. You know how it goes with our midfield – they’re all over the bloody place! Anyway, Donny came out the blocks quickest and James Coppinger was their key dangerman, a speculative shot from 25 yards looked to have caught out Lee Camp who flailed towards it, fortunately for us it was wide of the target.
The ‘keeper was on his toes to deny Kyle Bennett shortly after though, with a dangerous shot from the edge of the box which Camp tipped over. Not that the referee was paying attention though, giving the goal kick to the Reds much to the frustration of the home supporters. A bad call by the referee for sure.
Forest started to come into the game more though – a solid challenge from Majewski enabled him to feed the ball to Derbyshire, who drilled a low ball across toward McGoldrick, who couldn’t quite get on the end of it – ultimately ending up going out of play. Tails up though, a ball in from Reidy almost found Chambers, but did find the following-up Wes Morgan whose looping effort ended up wide.
The home side were still creating opportunities though. Bennett evaded Cohen to bear down on goal, but his effort ultimately ended up both wide and high of the goal. Shortly after recent Forest-trialee Giles Barnes teed up Gillett who will be disappointed how easy his effort on goal was for Lee Camp to gather up.
Just as frustration was getting the better of some, though, our first league goal of the campaign came from a most unlikely of sources! Brendan Moloney won the ball in midfield, and wasted no time in pinging a cross to the back post where none other than Chris Gunter was on hand to head powerfully down toward the post. The ‘keeper should’ve arguably held it, but it didn’t – and it’s one nil to the reds!
At the other end Camp made an impressive save from Coppinger who’d latched onto a ball in from Gillett and unleashed a defence shot towards the back post. The Forest keeper leapt to tip the ball over with a two-handed save. Gunter was proving a thorn in the side as an attacker, only being stopped from bursting through from a Cohen pass thanks to a challenge by Dumbuya.
A Majewski volley from a corner which was off-target signalled the end of the half pretty much. Not a scintillating performance by any stretch of the imagination, but the much sought-after goal acquired, a clean sheet – let’s face it, tonight was only ever going to be about the result really! Cautious optimism seemed to be the prevailing mood in the away end.
The second half commenced with the home side on the offensive again – Barnes picked out Gillett with a good ball in, but under the attentions of Gunts he ended up putting the ball wide. Moments later Gunts was bettered by Bennett, but ultimately the cross – from Dumbaya – was poor and cleared by Majewski.
Matt Derbyshire was the first player to be withdrawn just before the clock reached the hour, with Robbie Findley chosen in a like-for-like swap up front. The game had started to stagnate to the kind of performance we’ve become accustomed to of late, but the Reds did start to wake up – good work from Findley resulted in a foul and a freekick from the edge of the area.
Raddy lined it up and struck a powerful effort – but it ended up on the roof of the net. McGoldrick – after a more convincing performance than the season opener – was withdrawn with 15 minutes remaining to give Ishmael Miller his first run out in a Forest shirt.
Donny did have a few moments to scare us late on – a quickly taken corner wasn’t well anticipated and culminated in the ball in finding a good run from Gillett. Luckily for us his finish wasn’t quite so sublime – whilst on target and with some power it was pretty much straight at Lee Camp who was able to save. Another save came shortly after as Forest struggled to make the ball stick up front.
Miller did show a glimpse of what he’ll bring to the party, a powerful run forward saw him better a Donny defender and whip a ball in despite the defender literally hanging off him. Ultimately the ball was beaten away, but certainly he looks like the kind of player who could get the crowd excited (and possibly exasperated in equal measure!).
With time tick-tocking away Joel Lynch was introduced for Andy Reid, just as four minutes of stoppage time was announced. Reidy made no friends with how long it took him to leave the pitch, I don’t think the Donny fans had perhaps realised just how much pace he’d lost [sic]. We were able to see out the game and earn our first three points of the season – which are most welcome!
Top half of the table now, and by recent season’s standards one of the better starts in terms of points we’ve had in a while.
I don’t know what you were all fretting about.
Filed under: Matches