A thoroughly enjoyable trip to the Keepmoat Stadium was meant to remind me what a unique competition the FA Cup is.
In many ways, it did. But for all the entertainment on show you couldn’t help but think of the Premier League and the need to stay in it, for the sake of fixtures like this.
For a brief moment I’d forgotten what an away proposition like Doncaster really represents, but it soon came flooding back.
A cramped pitch, a committed home team and a tough task in breaking Donny down as they worked their backsides off from the first whistle to the last.
Pretty much like every other team in the Championship, which reminded me how damn difficult it is to get out of that wretched, God forsaken league from Satan.
The thought kept nagging away as I tried – and failed – to forget the very bloody thing I drove half the length of the country to get away from (with my good friends Paul and Dale!).
On the evidence of this game, the magic of the FA Cup is a bit like our nation’s grit supplies.
Everyone would like a sprinkling as it works wonders! But maybe it is used in the areas that need it most (like Stevenage), so it runs out elsewhere.
The game itself was always competitive and occasionally captivating as we kept the hosts quiet for most of the first half.
Milijas – the only Wolves player to find clarity in so much congestion – scored an absolute belter which was worth the admission fee alone.
It really did whistle into the top corner of the net, even if it looked a bit more central on the TV.
But within minutes we were 2-1 behind as Billy Sharp levelled and James Hayter added another.
Sharp’s goal was a throwback to our famous number nine, twisting and burying a belter from 20 yards which Hahnemann had no chance. Worth a punt?!
The second was sadly down to Richard Stearman, who is taking his new found ‘enigma’ tag a bit too seriously.
Under no pressure, with the whole of the pitch to look towards, a simple ball to new boy Doherty was too much for him. He smacked the ball behind the full back out for a throw which we didn’t defend.
George tried to clear his lines, the ball went back in, and Hayter obliged.
The second half was equally absorbing and we actually looked the better team. All the action was at our end of the pitch and when we won the penalty – which Hunt then scored – there was surely only one winner.
That was however, until Big George got his marching orders for a late aerial challenge on Coppinger.
From our vantage point the red card looked extremely harsh, while John Oster’s (or whoever the gutless moron was) revolting verbal assault on George was bang out of order, as he lay polaxed on the floor.
After George departed, we then had to hang on for the last 15 minutes, with Doherty producing an outstanding block at the death when Doncaster looked set to score.
In the context of the game, the sending off was a shame. In the context of the Premier League, it’s a real sickener as Stephen Ward will probably deputise in his absence for 3 games.
So that was that. A great game of football, a couple of great goals, a sending off, and my last bloody thought is about the Premier League. Doh!