Huddersfield Town v Doncaster Rovers
The Sky Bet Championship
Saturday September 14th - 3:00 ko
at The John Smith's Stadium
Huddersfield Town welcome Doncaster Rovers to the John Smith's Stadium for the first time since the 2007/08 season when the two teams played out a 2-2 draw, with Robbie Williams and Andy Holdsworth scoring for Town. That was a League One match. This week's meeting will be the first for the two clubs at this league level since the 1957/58 season. Again it was a 2-2 draw at the old Leeds Road stadium. Robert Ledger and Stanley Howard scored for Town that day, two names I admit to being unfamiliar with. 16,682 was the crowd that day, a couple of days after Boxing Day. Can we match or better that crowd for this match?
A brief history of Doncaster Rovers:
They were formed in 1879 and gained entry to the Football League in 1901. In that first season they achieved their highest ever league position, finishing 7th in Division 2. There were only two divisions back then and unfortunately they finished the next season in the bottom three and failed to gain re-election, thus ending a two year stint as a Football League club.
Fear not, after one season out, they were voted back in again.....only to finish bottom and get voted out again. The club struggled and were closed down just before the outbreak of the first world war. The army took over their ground and when the new club was formed, they soon moved to Belle Vue, a ground many Town fans will remember as a right dump!
The ironically named Belle Vue
They were re-elected to the Football League in 1923 as members of Division 3 North and over the years won that league three times and when the 4th division came in, they won that three times as well.
They moved up and down between the divisions, never looking like achieving anything significant, but never looking like losing their league place again until the dark day when they took on a certain Ken Richardson as chairman in the 1990s.
He ran the club into the ground and eventually was jailed for torching the stand, or rather being found guilty of arranging somebody else to set it alight. Just prior to his court appearance, the club were relegated out of the League.
A consortium, headed by John Ryan, took over a couple of years later and within five years they had won the Conference and returned to the League. The momentum kept going and their first season back coincided with our own demise, being together in the 4th tier of English football. Donny won the title that year and we joined them in promotion by winning the Play Offs.
Doncaster Rovers moved into their brand new stadium in December 2006 and on New Year's Day 2007, welcomed Huddersfield Town for the first match there. Town entered the party spirit by letting them win 3-0. It was more of an ugly, drunken down town Batley style party as a 22 man brawl in the 58th minute led to the referee singling out Town's Adnan Ahmed and Pawel Abbott for red cards.
Later that season, Rovers won the biggest trophy in the history of their club by winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. They beat Bristol Rovers at the Millennium Stadium in extra time. And the trophies just kept coming. The following season saw them head to Wembley to take on the Champions of Europe, Leeds United in the League One Play Off Final. A James Hayter header in the 47th minute saw them promoted to the 2nd tier of English football just nine years after falling into the abyss of the non league.
LOL @ Leeds
They have yoyoed between the championship and League One since, but in the latest upward bounce, they won the League One title in dramatic circumstances at the end of last season. Heading to Brentford's Griffin Park for the final match of the season, they knew that a draw would be enough for them to gain promotion. However, defeat would mean that the Bees would leap-frog them into the automatic slot. Also in the equation were Bournemouth, who needed a win at Tranmere to take the League One Champions Trophy.
Bournemouth cocked it up and so as Brentford's Marcello Trotta stood over an injury time penalty kick, he knew that converting it would mean promotion for Brentford. He hit the crosssbar and as the ball ran loose to sub Billy Paynter, he set off on a run all the way to the other end, where he crossed for James Coppinger to slot the ball past the stranded home keeper. The goal meant Rovers were champions and Brentford had to settle for the Play Offs.
Head to Head
Town lead the overall head to head by 18 wins to 12, with 8 draws. That's in all competitions. In league matches it's 14 Town wins to Donny's 10, with 6 draws.
Rovers have only ever won once at Town's new stadium. That was a JPT match in 2006 when they won 2-1.
Classic match - Huddersfield Town v Doncaster Rovers, 3rd January 2004.
As mentioned earlier, Donny had been promoted back to the Football League at the start of the 2003/04 season and Town were spiralling downwards after going into administration in the summer. As Rovers arrived at the MacAlpine Stadium, they were well off in the table in 3rd place. Town were still mid table but had had back to back 1-0 wins over Christmas at Darlington and at home to Bury.
The two teams had met in the sunshine of an August Bank Holiday Monday at Belle Vue, where the teams played out a 1-1 draw. Andy Booth scored the Town goal and Danny Schofield was sent off late on against his home town club. It was Schofield who had the first chance in this match, but his shot warmed the keeper's hands on a bitterly cold early January afternoon. Schofield then released Jonathan Stead with a superb cross field ball, but the Town striker, who was the subject of much speculation now that the transfer window had opened, sent his shot into the side netting. He wasn't to be denied his 16th goal of the season though, as a Rob Edwards corner in the 42nd minute was flicked on at the near post by Efe Sodje for Stead to nod home.
His 17th goal of the season came in the 69th minute. A right foot shot past the keeper, having been found in space after Nat Brown, playing up front in place of Boothy, threaded the ball through the Rovers defence. As the players ran to the corner flag to celebrate, manager Peter Jackson set off towards them, fist pumping the air, and slipped and fell on his arse!
The points weren't safe yet as Michael McIndoe crossed for Gregg Blundell to slide in to make it 2-1 in the 72nd minute. And they weren't done either. Leo Fortune-West came close, as well as coming close to a red card when the referee missed his blatant elbow on Town's Nathan Clarke. Then a header from a corner was heading in for the equaliser until it was brilliantly saved by Town keeper Phil Senior, who had only made a handful of appearances following the injury to regular keeper Ian Gray.
But then in the 82nd minute, Stead looking for his hat-trick, swivelled and turned the Donny defence inside out. His shot was blocked, but fell nicely for Jonathan Worthington, who slammed the ball home.
The crowd and Jacko went wild!
The win moved Town up to 8th, only a point behind Swansea City in the last Play Off position.
Full time: Huddersfield Town 3-1 Doncaster Rovers
Town: Senior, Clarke, Sodje, Yates, Edwards, Lloyd (Hughes), Brown, Holdsworth, Schofield, Worthington, Stead.
Rovers: Warrington, Marples, Ryan, Morley, Foster, Rigoglioso, Melligan (Hynes), Green (Doolan), McIndoe, Fortune-West, Blundell.
So what have modern day Donny got?
They come here on the back of a 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth. Managed these days by Paul Dickov, the former Oldham Athletic manager. The highlight of his time at Boundary Park was a famous FA Cup victory over Liverpool. A big win for the club, but he was sacked not long after, due to poor league form.
He took over at the Keepmoat in the summer after Rovers surprisingly didn't give the job to caretaker manager Brian Flynn, who had guided them to the League One title in dramatic fashion. Dickov's assistant is ex Town boss, Brian Horton.
The wee shit Dickov
Who has Dickov been playing in his first XI?
Ross Turnbull is the goalkeeper. He's had Premier League experience, mainly as a reserve for Mark Schwartzer at Middlesbrough and Petr Čech at Chelsea. He signed for Donny in the summer on a one year deal.
In defence, they have giant centre back and captain, Rob Jones. He played lower league football before joining Hibs in the SPL in 2006. After that he went to Sheffield Wednesday, scoring one of the goals in the 4-4 draw at Hillsborough. Not surprisingly for a 6'7" lad, it was a header.
James Husband is at left back. He's only 19 years old and he came through the Leeds Academy. Scored a spectacular goal with a shot from the left side touchline against Blackburn the other week.
Reece Wabara is on loan from Manchester City. He's had one sub appearance for them, but has been loaned out to Ipswich, Oldham and Blackpool.
Another loanee is centre back, Bongani Khumalo, a South African on loan from Spurs, for whom he hasn't yet played. He's had other loan spells at Reading and Preston.
Bongobongoland's Bongani Khumalo
In midfield, they have Welsh international winger, David Cotterill. Despite playing in the Premier League with Wigan and Swansea, his career has done nothing spectacular and signed for Rovers having been released in the summer by Barnsley.
Irishman Paul Keegan tried to make it in English football at the "mighty" Leeds United in the early part of his career, but having failed, returned to Ireland. In 2011, he tried again, this time with more success at the Keepmoat. Not at first though, he was released by manager Dean Saunders, who then changed his mind and offered him a new one year deal, which Dickov extended this summer.
Richie Wellens was at Leicester last season, but not a first choice, only playing in one of the four matches against us, the FA Cup match at the John Smith's. He returned to Doncaster in the summer, a club he played 86 games for between 2007 and 09. Prior to that he made one League Cup appearance for Manchester United, before joining Blackpool. At Blackpool he was part of the LDV Vans Trophy winning side and scored one of the goals that knocked us out in the Northern Final. He then moved to Oldham before joining Donny.
James Coppinger has been with Rovers for ten years now. He scored that goal at Griffin Park at the end of last season and also played in the Play Off Final against Leeds in 2008. Has now over 300 appearances for Doncaster, having joined them from Exeter.
Up top they have Chris Brown, the ex Sunderland, Hull, Norwich and Preston striker. He had a loan period at Doncaster when a Sunderland player and joined them again in 2011 when his contract at Preston ran out. He scored two goals in the match at Charlton this season, but unfortunately they don't count now as the match got called off at half time due to a waterlogged pitch, with Rovers 3-1 up at the time.
Jamaican international, Theo Robinson, is another new recruit this season. He scored on his debut in the 2-0 win against Blackburn. Before that, we all remember him as a Town player. Some remember him as a prolific goalscorer. Some remember him as a clown who missed open goals. How do you remember him?
He did score 16 goals for us in 45 appearances in his first spell with us and then had a not too happy loan spell last season. He signed for Rovers from Derby last month and has also played for Watford, Southend and Millwall.
Leading scorer - Theo Robinson with 2.
Also in the squad are goalkeeper Jonathan Maxted, defenders Paul Quinn and Luke McCullough, midfielders Mark Duffy, Harry Forrester and Dean Furman. Striker Billy Paynter who came off the bench to score against his former club Leeds, in the League Cup.
Jamie McCombe is injured.
Doncaster Rovers team against Bournemouth on Aug 31:
They lost 1-0.
Rovers are 19th in the league with 4 points, that's 3 less than we have. Town are 12th on 7 points.
Theo Robinson and Jamie McCombe of the current Doncaster squad both played recently for Town. Jon Parkin had loan spells at both clubs when he was at Cardiff City in 2011.
Boom Boom McCombe
Older readers may remember Paul Barnes, Kevin Bird, Terry Austin and John Saunders.
The most famous one though would be from before all of our times. Peter Doherty was one of the all time greats of the 30s and 40s. He won the league with Manchester City and the FA Cup with Derby County. His transfer in 1936 from Blackpool to Man City was the Gareth Bale deal of the era, going for a massive £10,000.
His career was then interrupted by the war. He joined the RAF and guested for various clubs during this time. After the war he joined Derby and then in 1946 came to Leeds Road. He scored 33 goals in 83 games for Town before joining Doncaster as player-manager. During his time at Belle Vue, they won the 3rd Division (North) title and stayed in the 2nd Division for eight seasons, the longest period of football at this level in the club's history. After Rovers, he managed his country, Northern Ireland to their most successful World Cup campaign, reaching the quarter finals in 1958.
Following his death in 1990, a plaque to mark his birthplace was unveiled in Magherafelt.
Any more? Dave Cowling, Town legend of the 70s and 80s, managed Donny in 1997, but for only ten days. He's now running their academy.
Glyn Snodin, who was assistant at Town to Simon Grayson, is a Doncaster legend.
And Brian Horton, who managed Town in the 90s, is the current assistant manager at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Famous ex players
Charlie Williams: Before becoming a famous comedian in the 1970s, Charlie Williams was a professional footballer. His dad had come to England from Barbados in 1914 to join the Royal Engineers in the first world war. He became a greengrocer in Royston, post war and married a local girl. Charlie was born in 1927 and he worked darn t' pit when he left school. Playing for the pit football team, Upton Colliery, he was eventually signed on professional terms by Donny Rovers in 1948. He played 151 games for them as a centre half. As he described his own style, he was not a fancy player, but he could stop them buggers that were.
Following his retirement, he became a club singer. But it was his comedy interplay between the songs that made him popular, so he ditched the singing and became a full time comedian. His career took off in the 1970s with Granada's The Comedians. It wasn't his jokes in particular that got him noticed, but the fact that he was a black man on tv when white faces were the norm. But not only was he black, but he had a ridiculously thick Yorkshire accent.
His career reached a high when he was chosen to present the top game show of the day, The Golden Shot. This proved to be a step too far for him as he couldn't handle the live format of the show and his career dwindled after that.
He did however star at the world famous Batley Variety Club and it was from here that he was surprised for This Is Your Life.
"Hey up, flower!"
Billy Bremner: Became Doncaster's player-manager in 1979. He joined Rovers after two years playing for Hull City. Earlier in his career, he earned 54 caps for Scotland, the first of which came in 1965. Two years later he played in the team that beat the World Cup winners England, at Wembley.
He captained Scotland at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. But a year later, he was given a lifetime ban by Scotland for a drunken incident in Copenhagen following a match with Denmark.
But he will always be remebered as a Scotland legend, which gave us the song Billy Bremner is a Blue.
Billy Bremner is a blue
Donny the Dog
The team's mascot, previously portrayed by Andrew Liney, is a brown dog known as Donny Dog that wears a red and white Rovers jersey. Before a scheduled appearance during the game against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium on 4 March 2006, police prevented Liney from entering the stadium in costume, citing unspecified "police intelligence", and refused him permission to wear any part of the costume within 50 metres of the stadium. Mr Liney later received a full written apology for these unfounded allegations from the head of West Yorkshire Police.
The mascot was next portrayed by Tracy Chandler and in June 2011, she was relieved from the position after she posed in her underwear for a Sunday newspaper. Later in the same week she was reinstated back as the clubs mascot.
Other Championship fixtures this weekend:
Burnley v Blackburn [12:15]
Bolton v Leeds
Bournemouth v Blackpool
Ipswich v Middlesbrough
Leicester v Wigan
Millwall v Derby
Nottm Forest v Barnsley
QPR v Birmingham
Sheff Wed v Yeovil
Watford v Charlton
Reading v Brighton [13:15]
Town team news: We have new signing from Swansea, Jazz Richards available for selection. He has joined on a 93 day emergency loan and will probably go straight in at right back. Callum Woods could also be fit after missing the last few weeks, making the place of Jake Carroll in the team insecure.
Both Oliver Norwood and Martin Paterson will return to training on Thursday after playing two matches for Northern Ireland in the last few days. Paterson scored on Tuesday night, his second for his country as a Huddersfield Town player, but the pair of them would undoubtedly be dejected following the defeat at the hand of minnows Luxembourg, which was their first World Cup win since 1972.
Sean Scannell started the last Town match up front in Paterson's place. Don't expect this to happen again. Jon Stead may come in if Paterson is still out of favour with manager Mark Robins. Or he could even go for either Danny Carr or Cristian Lopez, both who scored two goals in the development squad match this week.
Snooty's prediction: 1-0 to Town.
Snooty's Town line-up:
P.Clarke© Gerrard Lynch
Richards Clayton Hogg Norwood Carroll