Doncaster Rovers v Middlesbrough
Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 7.45pm
By Conor Askins
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I was looking forward going to the ground as Boro had the 2nd best away record in the Championship and our away following had been excellent so far. With Doncaster only being two hours travelling time away, we were likely to fill the allocation even though it was on a Tuesday night. Also the week before we'd been well beaten by a better side- in Southampton- and the response at Doncaster was going to test our promotion credentials, so me, my father and a couple of his mates we're hoping to bring three points back to Teesside.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We parked at a Premier Inn where my dads' mate was staying and it was free, so that was a bonus. Also we were told that there was a bus, that takes you directly to the Keepmoat and was only £1.30 for a return.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Well before the game we arrived at the Premier Inn at around 6. We had a few drinks in their bar, where there was some other Boro fans too. We caught the bus outside the hotel and got to the stadium at 7:30pm A home fan told us where the away end and showed us where to go, which was helpful of him.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
My first impression of the stadium was that it looked modern. It also was fully enclosed, which made it stand out more than some other newer stadiums that I've recently visited. The away end was fantastic. We had a great view and also the concourse even had bar stools, which I hadn't seen before at a ground. However the stadium did look a bit on the small side as all the stands were only one tier.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was very emotional as Billy Sharp (Doncaster's top scorer and captain) had just tragically lost his son, so there was a minutes applause before the game had kicked off and the 3,000 Boro fans joined in.
The game itself was excellent. Doncaster actually started quite well and had a few good chances early on. But it was like a story come true, the way Billy Sharp scored an outstanding goal in front of the Boro fans on 14 minutes and even we applauded as a sign of respect. But the table doesn't lie and Boro came back strong as Barry Robson ran for 40 yards before smashing home a deserved equalizer and sent the Boro fans into raptures. Then after they sustained our pressure we then had a fast flowing move with super Marvin Emnes finishing it off, 2-1 at half time.
The 2nd half was end to end again, but with Boro now attacking towards the away endm where the Teesside faithful were generating a brilliant atmosphere. The acoustics were great and the stewards were friendly as well.
Then Boro were awarded a penalty on 66 minutes and the man of the match- Barry Robson- blasted the ball into the roof of the net, to put the game beyond Doncaster and it finished 3-1. Credit to the Donny fans, with most of them staying for the final whistle and even Billy Sharp clapped us off. The atmosphere throughout and especially in the second half was amazing and the Donny fans had a drum which created some noise but most came from the Boro fans.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
We got the bus with a few other boro fans with no problem at all and got back to the Premier Inn quickly, so we had one more drink in there and then drove back to Teesside happy as Larry.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall it was an away day to remember as we answered our critics after getting beaten a few days before and the 3-1 score line could've easilty been 5 or 6 on another day, but happy with the win and Doncaster should be praised for putting in a brave performance and for passing the ball and not just blasting it up the pitch. Any loyal fans should give the Keepmoat a try!.
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