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New to League One: Doncaster Rovers

2 June 2017

We continue our look at the newcomers to Sky Bet League One for the 2017-18 by focusing on our shortest away trip of the upcoming campaign; Doncaster Rovers.

After leading the way for most of the campaign in 2016-17, Rovers finished Sky Bet League Two in third place, sealing an immediate return to the third tier.

Rovers are one of the three sides returning to the division after one season away with Blackpool and Wigan Athletic both back in Sky Bet League One. Darren Ferguson remained in charge of the Yorkshire side throughout the season as they coasted through their League Two campaign.

Despite that, they did fail to win their first three games, losing against Accrington Stanley in the first league game before being dumped out of the EFL Cup. They'd get their first point on the board with a 1-1 draw with Crawley Town before they then hit full steam ahead.

Five victories out of six pushed the side towards the top of the division and their run of victories would continue, despite losing to Blackpool and Plymouth Argyle. The side would only taste one defeat between November 6th and February 13th which included eleven victories, five of which in a row. Those five victories were all in January and meant that Ferguson was the top candidate for the Sky Bet League Two manager of the month award; an accolade he was duly presented with.

The alleged curse of the award only struck to thwart Rovers making five wins on the bounce six as they drew 1-1 with Morecambe before claiming a point at Newport County. Indeed, they'd win just once in February - the last game of the month at Cambridge United.

By this point, though, they were cruising on 65 points. They were top of the division, ten points clear of fourth and with 13 games to play they were almost nailed on for promotion.

The side would soon find their immaculate form once more, winning five out of six games across March and early-April, including a thumping 5-1 away win at Grimsby Town. The only blip was a 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

Promotion was confirmed at the Keepmoat Stadium on April 8th with a solitary goal from Tommy Rowe in a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town. Following promotion - and while in the ascendancy to be champions of the division - they failed to win any of their last five matches, losing four, and finished third.

The Iron will meet Doncaster for the first time since completing a domestic double over the side in 2015-16. United won 1-0 and 2-0 over the two legs and it was the first time that Rovers failed to score a domestic goal against Scunthorpe in a season since 1978-79. It was also the first time the Iron completed the double over the side since 1991-92.

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