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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town vs Doncaster Rovers

Jody Morris prepares for first home game in charge as Donny visit Wiltshire…

10 February 2023

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town vs Doncaster Rovers

Jody Morris prepares for first home game in charge as Donny visit Wiltshire…

10 February 2023

Swindon Town take on Doncaster Rovers in EFL Sky Bet League Two this weekend, as recently appointed First-Team Head Coach, Jody Morris, makes his dugout debut at SN1.

Ahead of tomorrow’s crunch tie, which could see The Robins move up to fifth with a win, we’ve provided some insight into our next opponents.

The lowdown…

The club was founded back in 1879, turning professional six years later and moving to The Intake Ground.

They were later accepted into the Midland League in 1891 and elected into the Football League in 1901.

Unfortunately for Donny, they lost re-election votes in 1903 and 1905 and returned back to the Midland divisions. It wasn’t until 1923 that they were admitted into the Football League for a third and final time, going on to win the Third Division North title in 1934/35.

Two further championship wins followed in 1946/47 and 1949/50, having suffered relegation in 1937 and 1948.

Doncaster found themselves in the Fourth Division after suffering successive demotions in 1958 and 1959, but they’d go on to win the league in 1965/66 and 1968/69.

The club continued to yo-yo between the third and fourth tiers during the following years, winning promotions in 1980/81 and 1983/84 with further relegations seeingthem drop into non-league in 1998.

Their Football League status was secured after winning the Conference play-offs in 2003 before going on to scoop the Third Division title in 2003/04.

They added a Football League Trophy to their silverware collection in 2007 and secured a place in the second tier for the first time by winning the League One play-offs.

They spent four of the next five seasons in the Championship, winning the League One title in 2012/13, although relegation was on the cards yet again the following year, and a further demotion followed to League Two in 2016.

After making an immediate return back to League One in 2016/17, they remained there until they went down last term.

The last five previous meetings…

This season’s earlier encounter between the pair in League Two ended in a valuable away victory for Swindon, with Jacob Wakeling’s goal just before the hour proving the difference back in September.

But this win came off the back of two straight league defeats for The Robins against Donny, which came back during the 2020/21 campaign.

A 2-1 loss on home turf for Town back in January 2021, when both sides were in League One, proved a repeat of the away fixture earlier that season, as Doncaster won by the same score line the month before.

You then have to go back to March 2016 for the next match-up between the two, as a Jonathan Obika braced helped Town to a 2-0 victory that day.

A draw at the Keepmoat earlier that campaign followed another win for Swindon in March 2015, as they ran out 2-1 winners up north thanks to goals from Michael Smith and another from Obika.

Donny’s season thus far

Despite Doncaster currently sitting eleventh in the League Two standings, they remain just three points off sixth, with games in hand over a few of the sides above them.

They currently have a total of 12 wins from their 28 league games so far.

After an encouraging start to the campaign, they stuttered throughout October and December, form which saw them win just two out of nine league games.

More recently, their New Years Day win at home to Carlisle United provided the perfect start to 2023, but a trio of defeats were to follow against Leyton Orient, Mansfield and Hartlepool.

They were able to get back on track in midweek however, as goals from Ben Close and Kyle Hurst saw them run out 2-0 winners over Tranmere at the Eco-Power Stadium.  

The manager…Danny Schofield

The former Huddersfield Town, Yeovil and Millwall attacker was appointed Doncaster boss in October last year on a one-year rolling contract following the dismissal of Gary McSheffrey.

The 42-year-old began his coaching career at Barnsley’s youth academy while still actively playing for Rotherham United.

In 2015, he spent a season as player-coach with National League North outfit Bradford Park Avenue, before heading to Leeds United to manage their Under-15 and Under-16s a year later.

He was promoted to the role of Professional Development Phase Coach at Elland Road shortly after, working with the club’s Under-23s alongside Carlos Corberan.

August 2019 saw him move onto Middlesbrough as their new Under-23 assistant lead coach, before returning to Huddersfield Town as Under-19s boss six months on.

After the sacking of Danny Cowley, Schofield was appointed caretaker manager for the Terriers final Championship fixture of the 2019/20 season.

With Corberan then taking over as Huddersfield boss in August 2020, he began coaching their B Team, before taking up the mantle of first-team boss at the John Smith’s Stadium after the Spaniard resigned in July last year.

But after recording just one win during his first eight league games, Schofield was relieved of his duties the following September, paving the way to take over at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Key players:

In striker George Miller, Donny have a player adept at finding the back of the net, with nine league goals to his name so far this term.

Four assists from the 24-year-old has highlighted his ability to create as well as score, which has contributed to Kyle Hurst (six) and Harrison Biggins (four) increasing their respective tally’s.

In forward Kieran Agard, they also boast some experience in the ranks, with the 33-year-old netting over 85 Football League goals during his career.

Central midfielder Ben Close and right-back Kyle Knoyle have also been some of Rovers’ top performers this season, with the latter making an impressive six goal contributions to date.

January business:

Donny have used the January window to good effect, bringing in a variety of new faces.

Young winger Todd Miller has been drafted in from Brighton on loan until the remainder of the season, with another hot prospect, Leicester City’s Ben Nelson, following him on a similar deal.

Another two loan deals were completed last month with the additions of right back James Brown from Blackburn Rovers and Burton Albion’s Charlie Lakin, while Canadian-born, Northern Irishman, Caolan Lavery, securing a permanent move from Scunthorpe United, penning an eighteen-month deal.


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