Match Preview: Doncaster Rovers (A)
EFL League Two
The Keepmoat Stadium
Saturday, October 8, 2016 – KO 3.00pm
Team News: Barnet have three long-term absentees in Michael Gash, James Pearson and Gavin Hoyte while there are also three new absentees for Saturday’s game. For more information click here.
Last Time We Met: Barnet have not played Doncaster for 13 years and this will be the Bees’ first visit to the Keepmoat Stadium.
The last time the two sides met, on January 4, 2003, Rovers ran out 2-1 winners at Underhill. Jamie Paterson and Robert Gill put the visitors 2-0 up inside 18.
Bees Defender and future manager Ian Hendon reduced the arrears seven minutes after the break but Barnet could not find an equaliser.
Manager: Darren Ferguson, 44, was appointed Rovers boss in October last year but could not prevent Donny’s slide into the basement division of the EFL for the first time since 2004.
The Scot, son of Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, began his managerial career at Peterborough United in 2007 when he left Wrexham to become player-manager of Posh.
In his first full season at the club Ferguson took Peterborough into League One by finishing second in League Two. The following season Posh repeated the trick by finishing runners up once more to reach the Championship.
However, Ferguson left for Preston North End in January 2010 with Posh bottom of the table. His time at Deepdale was short and he left North End propping up the Championship in December that year.
In January 2011 Ferguson returned to Posh and took the ailing side to the League One Play-Off Final where they beat Huddersfield United 3-0 to secure a return to the Championship.
Two seasons in the second tier followed before a galling final-day defeat to Crystal Palace saw Peterborough relegated in 2013 with 54 points, the most a team has ever been relegated from the Championship with.
Ferguson remained at the helm and steered Posh to sixth in League One the following season, but they lost in the play-off semi-finals to Leyton Orient.
However, the 2014/15 campaign was to prove his last at the club and he left by mutual consent in February 2015 following a 3-0 loss at MK Dons which left the club 15th in League One.
Dangerman: Striker Andy Williams, 30, is League One’s joint-forth top scorer after netting six times in his first 11 outings this season.
The Hereford-born forward joined Doncaster at the start of last season amid reported interest from a number of other League One clubs and registered 12 times in 46 outings for Rovers.
His form at Swindon Town the previous season, where he struck 21 times in 46 appearances, represented the best season of his career.
Williams began his career with local club Hereford United and netted 20 league goals in 98 appearances for the Bulls, form which earned a move to Bristol Rovers.
His time at the Memorial Stadium was not so successful though and he returned just eight goals in 88 league appearances for the Gas.
A move to Yeovil Town reignited his career though and Williams hit in 22 in 72 to help the Glovers into the Championship against all odds.
He returned to the club on loan the following season but could not repeat his feats and Yeovil returned to the third tier.
Three seasons at Swindon Town followed and the goals flowed with Williams bagging 32 from 89 league outings.
Connections: Former Welsh international John Oster played for both clubs with distinction, making 28 appearances for Barnet as the Bees were relegated to the Conference at the end of the 2012/14 season.
Prior to that the 37-year-old midfielder turned out 120 for Rovers during a three-year spell at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Former Barnet midfielder John Doolan, who spent five years at Underhill between 1998 and 2003, was signed directly from the Bees by Rovers in March 2003 for a nominal fee.
More recently Barnet signed striker Alex Peterson on loan from Rovers during the 2013/14 season.
He made just one appearances for the Bees – a 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield Town in March – and now plays for Scarborough Athletic.
Last Time Out: Doncaster picked up an impressive 2-1 win at Portsmouth in their last EFL League Two fixture before drawing 2-2 with Derby County in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
John Marquis put Rovers ahead at Fratton Park after seven minutes before Williams doubled up for Ferguson’s side in the 34th minute.
Carl Baker pulled one back for the hosts seven minutes later but Pompey could not force an equaliser at Fratton Park.
Doncaster Rovers (4-4-2): Marosi; Richardson, Butler, Wright, Evina; Coppinger, Houghton, Rowe, Blair; Marquis, Williams.
Ticket info: Supporters can purchase tickets for tomorrow’s match by ringing 01302 762576 or by paying cash on the day. Full information available by clicking here.