Doncaster Rovers have five players on international duty. Five. And not even an obscure youth team call-up for the Ireland Under 17s among them. Five fully grown adults. Each considered one of the best 22 players their country has produced, or at least the best 22 they have currently available. Bongani Khumalo and Dean Furman are with South Africa, Theo Robinson is in the US with Jamaica, Luke McCullough is in action for the Northern Ireland Under 21s, and David Cotterill is on the Wales bench playing the football equivalent of one of those people they employ at the Oscars to fill empty seats whilst Tom Hanks nips for a piss.
Anyway what this means is that the international break which is enforced upon us three or four times a season is for once properly justified. And with no Rovers game to go to and FIFA’s lunacy deciding that international football should be played on a Friday night when fans can’t make it, you are now devoid of Saturday afternoon entertainment. You have no excuse. None whatsoever. You don’t really care about seeing the Soccer Saturday pundits attempting to give a shit about Leagues One and Two, and you don’t want to spend a Saturday in the season in a shopping mall or garden centre. Lucky for you, their is a saviour on your doorstep in the form of local grassroots football. So take the plunge, grab your coat, maybe a mate or family member, and get yourself down to your local non-league club where your attendance will matter and you’ll get to see some live football. You know it makes sense. Here’s today’s local games to choose from.
Division One South
Mid-table in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South Goole AFC welcome Leek Town to the Victoria Pleasure Grounds this afternoon. After a decent start to the season The Vikings have had a desperate October thus far, shipping 14 goals in three games and they could be in for another tough afternoon with Leek currently top of the table. The opposition will be familiar to Rovers fans of a certain age too, having been our ‘local’ opposition in the 1998-99 Conference season.
Kick-Off: 3:00pm | Victoria Pleasure Grounds, Paradise Place, Goole, DN14 5DL
Northern Counties East League
Armthorpe Welfare vs Liversedge
After avoiding relegation on the last day of last season The Welfare have made an encouraging start to this campaign, with Brian Johnston’s men picking up some good early league wins as well as making progress in the FA Vase. Indeed this league meeting with Liversedge is a pre-run of next weekend’s Vase 1st round tie when Welfare will be the away side, so today represents a chance to get the mental edge on their opponents. After back to back 4-0 defeats in the League and League Cup Armthorpe will need to raise themselves thoughto beat their mid-table opponents.
Kick-Off: 3:00pm | Church Street, Armthorpe, DN3 3AG
Northern Counties East League
Hemsworth Miners Welfare vs Rossington Main
Probably the game of the day as far as local football is concerned with a Doncaster derby at the Fitzwilliam Stadium between Northern Counties League Division One strugglers Hemsworth and Rossington Main. The Welfare are having the better season of the two thus far sitting fifteenth in the table, but have lost their last five games in all competitions coming into this game. Rossington have had a mixed season having lost a number of players on the eve of the season, though some encouraging cup performances in recent weeks, including an 8-3 win over Bentley in the County Cup in midweek, should give them some confidence ahead of this tie. Look out for the recently released from Rovers Paddy Mullen in action for the visitors.
Kick-Off: 3:00pm | Fitzwilliam Stadium, Wakefield Road, Fitzwilliam, WF9 5BX
Central Midlands League
Only one of our local Central Midlands League sides are at home this weekend, but its a significant game at the Recreation Ground as third place hosts second in the North Division. Harworth had been unbeaten in seven before midweek, when they gave a valiant performance at home to Northern Premier League Frickely Athletic in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup, losing by just a single goal to the side five divisions higher than them. They’ll be looking to build on that performance against a Westella side whose only defeat thus far this season came in their respective County Cup.
Kick-Off: 3:00pm | Recreation Ground, Scrooby Road, Bircotes, DN11 8JN