Grassroots Coaching

Doncaster Rovers set the moral standard for football

In the first match of the new season – Doncaster Rovers v Bury Town in League 1 a strange thing and heart-warming event occurred, but one that restores your faith in the jungle that is professional football.

In injury time, with the score 0 -0, a Doncaster player was injured and the ball was put out of play by Bury so he could receive treatment. The game restarted with a throw in to Doncaster and the ball was thrown to Rovers Harry Forrester some 40 yards out and he attempted to volley it back to the Bury keeper to give them possession from a deep position. Unfortunately, he struck it too sweetly and the ball sailed over the keeper and went into the net to give Rovers a 1 – 0 lead. Cue the shocked Bury players up in arms.

To everyone’s credit, things calmed down quickly. Forrester immediately put his hands up in apology and the Rovers Manager Paul Dickov, after talking to the Referee and opposition Manager Paul Flitcroft instructed his players to allow Bury to walk the ball into the net for the equaliser. The game finished second later at 1 – 1

Flitcroft, who led Bury to automatic promotion from League Two in his first full season in charge last term, said: “I’ve got the ultimate respect for Paul Dickov.“He tried to get the referee to award a foul throw initially but then he’s allowed us to score from the restart.”

Dickov had no hesitation in his decision to restore parity.

“I didn’t really think twice about allowing them to equalise. It just wouldn’t have been right for us to take three points in the circumstances,” he said.

“It was just an unfortunate ending to the game. Harry Forrester hit the ball too sweet and I was just hoping it wouldn’t go in.

“When it did we just had to allow them to score because you can’t win a game like that.”


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