LONG : Rovers hold no fear in cup test
SHARLSTON Rovers head coach Gordy Long says his side hold no fear ahead of Saturday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup third round tie at Doncaster (kick-off 3pm).
Pennine League Rovers will be the underdogs going into the clash with the Co-operative Division 1 side but Long is confident in his side’s ability to cause a cup upset against Tony Miller’s men.
“We think they’ll be as nervous as we’ll be,” he said. “I’ve had a chat with Mike Emmett [who left Sharlston to join the Dons last year] and he’s not looking forward to playing us. He knows how good we can be.
“We’re really looking forward to it, we’ll be giving it our best shot. We’ve got nothing to lose and if we go out there and play well then there’s nothing more I can ask of the players.”
Long has confirmed Brian Sutton will be back in the squad after missing last weekend’s defeat at Drighlington, while Tom Wandless (dead leg) and Scott Glassell (elbow) are both expected to be fit after sustaining knocks.
Dons coach Tony Millersays he is fully aware of the threat posed by Sharlston Rovers and in particular their former professional Craig Miles. Miles is an ex-Doncaster and Dewsbury player and is one of a number of links between the two clubs.
“I went to watch them at the weekend, and I know they’ve been consistently one of the best amateur teams for the last four or five years,” Miller said. “They’ve got a big pack, Craig Miles can be a real handful on his day, and I’ve coached a couple of the other guys as well.
“I’m expecting them to come with a lot of enthusiasm and take the game to us. It won’t be an easy game and we need to play smart, because they have consistently proved that they are a good side. We’ll be treating them with respect.”
Miller will check on injuries to Dean Colton (groin), Paul Cooke (Achilles) and Keiran Hyde (groin) before finalising his line-up. Dons hooker Mike Emmett had a spell with Sharlston in recent years, before rejoining the professional game.
Sharlston assistant coach Jon Waddle and Miles were also both members of the Dewsbury side beaten by the amateur club in this round of the Cup in 2004. “They know what it’s like to be a professional player and get beaten by amateurs, and I’m sure they want to give that feeling to Doncaster,” club secretary Jamie Hobbs said. “The main thing is it that it will be great for our lads to play at a stadium like the Keepmoat. But we are sure we can compete and we’re planning on doing that, not just having a day out.”
Rovers have put on a third supporters’ coach for the trip to the Keepmoat Stadium. They’ll leave Weeland Road at 12.45pm and tickets, priced £6 for adults and free for children accompanying an adult, are available from the clubhouse or by contacting a committee member.
Match tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £5 concessions, £2 children (aged between 5-16) and free for under-5s. They can be bought in advance by contacting the Keepmoat Stadium ticket office on 01302 762576 or by buying on the day from the ticket office located on the South Stand. Tickets won’t be sold on the turnstiles. Entry is via the east stand turnstiles 6-10 opening at 2pm.