Doncaster Rovers vs Accrington Stanley match preview: Rovers must improve defensively despite injury setback

Written by Oliver Hall

The return of Southampton loanee Josh Sims  is vital for Darren Moore’s Doncaster Rovers’ season (@drfc_official on Twitter)

Wednesday evening’s game against Accrington Stanley could be pivotal in restoring Doncaster’s promotion challenge after two successive losses.

A win on Wednesday could leapfrog the Rovers from fifth to second in the table if other results go their way, positioning them only two points behind league leaders Lincoln City with a game in hand.

Manager, Darren Moore, will be hoping the recent losses away at Fleetwood and Sunderland are merely a minor blip in what has been an impressive season from the Rovers. So far, they have amassed ten points and are five positions higher than at the same point in the league last season.

In the pre-match press conference, Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore said:

“It’s important we maintain high standards that we’ve set, we have to get back [to] working properly again.”

“It is a tough challenge for us on Wednesday against a highly experienced man (Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman), he knows the level and the division really well, [he] doesn’t get flustered by the bravado the league can present.”

“We know how dangerous their man up top, (Dion) Charles, is and we’ll set up to try and stop him”

Despite the previous two results, Rovers fans can be buoyed by their imperious home form, winning nine of their thirteen games at the Keepmoat Stadium positioning them second in the home league table.

Accrington’s away form is of a league average, however their 2-2 draw away at Lincoln last weekend will provide them with the confidence that they can attack a Doncaster side that are suffering defensively due to the concussion suffered by skipper Tom Anderson ruling him out of this fixture.

His presence was sorely missed on Saturday, conceding four headed goals to Charlie Wyke at Sunderland and Doncaster’s lack of aerial prowess in the centre back position without Anderson will be tested against an Accrington side that excel in the air.

Moore said of his captain:

“Tom is a stalwart in defence, to miss someone of his ilk and aerial power, is massive but we felt we had ready made replacements. Lapses of concentration defeated us on Saturday and we need to switch on and engage.”

Dion Charles’ recent form for Accrington, which has seen him score seven goals in his last six games, including four man of the match performances and grabbing both goals in Saturday’s draw against Lincoln, will no doubt be a cause for concern for Doncaster. The host’s must successfully neutralise his threat alongside striking partner Colby Bishop, which will be vital if the Rovers are going to take all three points.

Southampton loanee starlet, Josh Sims, will be an important tool for Doncaster’s promotion push. Throughout the season his performances have been lauded and have earned him a position in the side for the remainder of the season after being brought back in last month.

His six league assists rank him amongst the highest in the league and the most for his club, he will be hoping to build upon these impressive performances for the rest of the season.

After playing his first minutes since coming back from a hamstring injury and re-signing on loan at the club, Sims is looking forward to carrying his stellar form into the remainder of the season saying:

“Before the season started I set myself a target of five goals and five assists, I’m currently on three goals and six assists and I would like to go even further than that now.”

“I set myself goals but without the team I can’t achieve them. We all help each other meet our own personal goals and the goals we set as a club too.”

Moore said of Sims:

“We’re all really pleased he’s back, in the first half campaign he showed us he suits the system and his skills marry up quite well with it.”

“Josh is pleased to be back and everyone looks forward to him getting back up to his maximum impact and ability again.”

With games coming thick and fast amidst a tight league table, any side that can put together a positive run of form will be likely contenders for automatic promotion this season. It will be a timely boost that Tom Anderson is expected to return next weekend versus Hull City as Doncaster bid to return to the Championship since being relegated in the 2013/14 season.

Match Information:


19:00 Wednesday 17/02/2021 Keepmoat Stadium

Available to watch via Doncaster Rovers’ official website


Dean Whitestone



Written by Oliver Hall

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