Last Time We Met...Doncaster Rovers
The Clarets might have been promoted by the end of the 2008/9 season but at the time we played Doncaster Rovers over two games towards the end of 2008 things looked very bleak with the Clarets building up to their traditional Christmas slump and our play-offs chances looking somewhat shaky. We came away with just one point from those two games playing out a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor on Saturday 22nd November before going down 2-1 at the Keepmoat two days after Boxing Day.
On a cold and very frustrating afternoon for Clarets fans, Burnley could only muster a 0-0 draw against bottom club, Doncaster Rovers at Turf Moor. The result saw the Clarets drop one place to 5th but we should have done better against a struggling side.
To be honest the Clarets never seemed to get out of first gear and their task was made even more difficult when so-called Premier League standard referee, Steve 'Gordon` Bennett produced a second yellow card for Steve Thompson after clashing with Doncaster Rovers centre back, Matthew Mills thus reducing the Clarets to ten men with only 31 minutes of the match played.
You just sensed this was not going to be our afternoon when time after time, the Clarets were penalised by the referee with decisions always going Rovers way, most of the time it seemed unfairly.
The sending off though really was a joke and even both managers seemed to think it was harsh. Three minutes after the sending off and Coyle had to replace the injured Wade Elliott with Alan Mahon and the scene was set for a poor game with the rest of the match it seemed mainly spent by the Clarets defending against a rampant Doncaster Rovers buoyed by their one-man advantage.
Thankfully they couldn`t shoot or score for toffee and stronger teams on the day would probably have taken their chances and got a panful.
Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott (Mahon 34), Gudjonsson (Duff 79), McCann, Eagles, Blake (Akinbiyi 58), Thompson.
Subs Not Used: Penny, Paterson.
Sent Off: Thompson (31).
Booked: Thompson, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, Eagles.
Doncaster: Sullivan, O'Connor, Mills, Martis, Chambers, Price (Coppinger 72), Wellens, Stock, Hird (Hayter 38), Guy (Heffernan 72), Woods.
Subs Not Used: Spicer, Taylor.
Booked: Mills, Woods.
In the return game at the Keepmoat it was another disappointing performance. We went into this match on the back of a home defeat against Barnsley on Boxing Day and the misery continued over the festive season with this 2-1 defeat. Doncaster were still struggling but were now second from bottom before they played the Clarets. Thankfully other clubs challenging for the play-offs also dropped points and we fell just one place to 5th now just 2 points ahead of local rivals, Preston in 7th and eight points behind 2nd placed club, Reading. This was another game too in which one of our players saw red. The defeat was made even worse therefore after Caldwell was sent off in the first half during a crazy four minutes spell that saw Doncaster get a two goal lead for the first time that season.
In the first half, Doncaster seemed to find ample room in the middle of the park with the Clarets having far too many shaky moments in defence. One of those basic defensive mistakes by Carlisle led to Rovers getting their first goal after 37 minutes. Coppinger being gifted a belated Christmas present made no mistake with a simple tap-in and three minutes later the home crowd couldn`t believe their luck after Caldwell was sent off for blatantly bringing down Richie Wellens in the penalty area. Stock made it 2-0 from the penalty spot albeit at the second attempt.
At least we survived the first half without any further goals but this was certainly not going to be a Christmas cracker for Clarets fans with yet another torrid festive season on the cards.
The second-half was a different story with somehow the ten brave men fighting back and dominating the half but it was always going to be one hurdle too many to get anything from this game.
At least on 62 minutes, the Clarets ensured that it was game-on by pulling a goal back after a superb mazy run by Elliott through the middle of the park to the edge of the box. He passed to Paterson to cut in from the right to score.
Coyle now tried a more attacking formation buoyed by the goal and brought on Gudjonsson for the lacklustre McCann after 69 minutes and then Thompson for Blake on 76 minutes.
It was a brave attempt but it wasn`t to be and the equaliser proved elusive in the end despite having most of the second-half possession.
Doncaster: Sullivan, O'Connor, Mills, Hird, Chambers, Stock, Wellens (Roberts 88), Woods, Spicer (Taylor 82), Coppinger, Heffernan (Lockwood 90).
Subs Not Used: Guy, Wilson.
Goals: Coppinger 37, Stock 40 pen.
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, Alexander, McCann (Gudjonsson 69), Eagles, Paterson, Blake (Thompson 76).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon, MacDonald.
Sent Off: Caldwell (39).
Booked: Jordan, Carlisle.
Goals: Paterson 62.
If you want to read more about these games you can visit out Match Archives by clicking these links:
Steve Bennett? More like Gordon!
Keepmoativating Failure for Coyle