How I watched football: 2018-19

How I watched football: 2018-19

A Friday night in May. The Valley is packed. It’s the 87th minute of the second-leg of the League One play-off semi-final and Charlton Athletic lead 3-2 on aggregate.

“Well, whatever happens it’s been a great season,” says James above the din.
“Aye,” I reply, “but it’d be nice to have half an hour more of it”.

About 90 seconds later Andy Butler got his head on a corner, the ball found the net, and the two of us, along with a thousand or so others, were lost in a wave of seat-tumbling stranger-grabbing sky-punching scarf-twirling collective bedlam. Continue reading “How I watched football: 2018-19”

Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report

Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report

The match ball was waiting on a plinth. Shit had gotten serious at the Keepmoat. “It’s all a bonus,” said Mike as I passed him pre-match. And he wasn’t wrong. Blue sky, relatively full house, big noise, genuinely affable Rovers side. Nowt to lose and all to love. Continue reading “Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report”

Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent

Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent

Before I crack on with what passes for a column in these parts, here are some words cribbed from Rovers fans on the internet. “This running round like a headless chicken just doesn’t cut it. I’ll drive him to his next club”“He must’ve become a professional footballer through the Make-A-Wish foundation”“Take any money offered and run, get someone who wants to play for the Rovers”. Continue reading “Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent”

Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Coventry City: 250 word match report

Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Coventry City: 250 word match report

“Peterborough are one up” announced a succession of West Stand voices, adding tension to the nervousness fuelled by an unconvincing opening quarter in which only the visitors had really threatened. Rovers defence opening up for Brandon Mason to thankfully showed a full-back’s instinct rather than a forward’s. Continue reading “Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Coventry City: 250 word match report”

Let’s get VAR, VAR away from here

Let’s get VAR, VAR away from here

I’m not a fan of video assistant referees (VAR). It’s merely technology for technology’s sake, like talking toilets on Virgin Trains. We’ve absolutely no real need for it, but someone with money thought it was a good idea, so now here we are, pissing into the mouth of Tomorrow’s World. Continue reading “Let’s get VAR, VAR away from here”

AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster Rovers: 250 word match report

AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster Rovers: 250 word match report

There are many reasons to like AFC Wimbledon as a club, but there plenty to dislike it as an away day; chiefly you can’t see a bloody thing from the away terrace, and not since Kingstonian were primary tenants have Rovers really performed at Kingsmeadow. Continue reading “AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster Rovers: 250 word match report”

Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Crystal Palace: 250 word match report

Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Crystal Palace: 250 word match report

Had this match been played out exclusively in the parts of the pitch that weren’t penalty area Rovers could be hugely satisfied, having moved the ball with a confidence that belied the divisional gap. But football doesn’t work that way and in the two 18-yard-boxes the clinical difference told; despite winning a dozen corners Rovers failed to test Wayne Hennessey, Palace were ruthless. Continue reading “Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Crystal Palace: 250 word match report”

How do we solve a problem like the FA Cup?

How do we solve a problem like the FA Cup?

Bosnia Herzegovina, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, USA, Deepdale. What connects these places? Well, the last one probably gave it away, but these are the dozen locations you would’ve needed to be in order to watch Rovers FA Cup match at Preston, live. Bumped 23 hours because supposedly the people of Skopje couldn’t get through a Burek brunch without Andy Butler heading everything in the background. Well, they’re only human. Continue reading “How do we solve a problem like the FA Cup?”