Bill Harris

This is a game that will divide Boro fans down the middle.

Some will expect an end-of-season goal-fest, others a "Typical Boro" let-down. The reason? Doncaster Rovers' record on Teesside is worse than Middlesbrough's at Wembley. Quite simply it reads: Played 8 Lost 8, scored 4, conceded 26.

Charlie Wayman - Photo taken from The Boro Alphabet

At least their worst day was their first. They came to Linthorpe Road in only their fourth game as a league club in September 1901 and were thumped 6-0 by a Boro side who would be promoted at the end of the season. Boro had put five past Newton Heath, then a glorified railway workers' pub team, now Champions League finalists, in their previous home game, and would score five or more eight times during the season.

They didn't meet again until November 1954, after Boro had been relegated from the first division and were struggling in the bottom four of the second. But two goals in the first six minutes from new signings Joe Scott and Charlie Wayman, helped them to a 3-1 win.

Almost exactly a year later both scored again, and Arthur Fitzsimmons twice, in a 4-1 win.

Rovers' best performance was on a bitterly cold Christmas Day in 1956, when they led 2-0 at half-time. But in a comeback even the current side haven't quite managed yet, two goals from Brian Clough, below, and one from Bill Harris, top of the page, gave Boro the points.

They were fifth in the table but because of the weather only 16,000 were there. This is the last time Doncaster scored at Middlesbrough.

The following day Boro went to Doncaster and lost 2-1, starting a slide to mid-table.

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Next September Clough, below, had a hat-trick by half-time, Ronnie Burbeck had scored too, and Clough got his fourth two minutes into the second half. The crowd waited for a record-breaking afternoon but it stayed at 5-0. Boro were third, but then slipped away to mid-table.

The last three meetings have seen Middlesbrough's least emphatic wins. In October 1966 goals from Billy Horner and Arthur Horsfield brought a 2-0 win for a Boro side in mid-table at the start of their run to second place the following May. Doncaster went down, as did Darlington.

It was another 20 years before they met again in the same division, at Christmas 1986. This time it was the narrowest win of all, with a single goal from one Tony Mowbray, which kept Boro in first place. Paul Proudlock was given a debut for the injured Stuart Ripley - only the 14th player used that season, and in the 19th game. Only four more were used all season. One of them, Ronnie Coyle, who sadly died last month, was on the bench after joining on loan from Celtic.

Brian Clough

The only blemish came in the only FA Cup meeting, in February 1952, a truly unforgettable day. Not only had King George VI died that morning, but in the afternoon, after a minute's silence, second division Doncaster came to Ayresome Park and won 4-1 against a Boro side third bottom of the first division.

It was like Cardiff last Monday in reverse, as the visitors were 3-0 up in 23 minutes and a huge 41,000 crowd was silenced. The game was dominated by Rovers' player-manager, the former Man City and Northern Ireland legend Peter Doherty, who was 39 at the time. Harry Bell managed to score in the last minute, by which time Doncaster had four.

It was the fourth season in a row Boro had gone out of the cup to a team from a lower division, and the first and only time Rovers reached the fifth round.

Last season's game was a real watershed. It was the fourth game of the season and Boro's fourth without conceding a goal - and it was the third win a row, something not achieved again until last Monday. It took Boro to second place.

Tuncay in action for Boro - Photo by Getty Images

Robert Huth and Tuncay played their last games, Tuncay, above, scored his last goal and Leroy Lita hit his first. Lita only scored one more goal at the Riverside all season.

Afterwards Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll called Huth and David Wheater the Twin Towers. And we all know what happened to them.

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Players who have played for both clubs

NAME

YEARS AT BORO

YEARS AT DONCASTER

Alun Armstrong

1998-2000

2006

Ian Bailey

1973-1982

1976 Loan

Andy Campbell

1995-2002

2005 Loan

Terry Cooper

1975-1978

1981-1982

Peter Creamer

1970-1975

1975-1976

Brian Deane

1998-2001

1985-1988

Jason Euell

2006-2007

2011 Loan

Len Goodson

1902-1905

1901-1902

Allan Hall

1928-1930

1926-1928

Peter Johnson

1975-1980

1983

Matthew Kilgallon

2010-2011 Loan

2011 Loan

Joe Laidlaw

1965-1972

1976-1979

Alan Murray

1965-1972

1973-1977

Don O'Riordan

1985-1986

1978 Loan

Brian Taylor

1970-1975

1975-1978

Michael Trotter

1986-1990

1988-1989 Loan

Lee Turnbull

1985-1987

1987-1991 and 1993-1994

Geoff Walker

1946-1954

1954-1957

David Wheater

2003-Present

2006 Loan

Mark Wilson

2001-2005

2006-Present

Dennis Windross

1956-1960

1962-1964

Alan Wright

2003-2004

2007

Other connections

NAME

BORO

DONCASTER

Stan Anderson

1965-1966 (player)

1966-1973 (manager)

1975-1978 (manager)

Andy Beaglehole

1989-1990 (youth coach)

1987-1988 (reserves coach)

Steve Beaglehole

(youth coach)

1984-1989 (coach)

1989-1991 (assistant manager)

1991-1993 (manager)

Danny Bergara

1986 (coach)

1997 (manager)

Cyril Knowles

1962-1964 (player)

1981-1983 (coach)

1977-1981 (assistant manager)

Direct transfers

INCOMING

YEAR

FEE

Len Goodson

1902

Allan Hall

1928

£3,500

OUTGOING

Ian Bailey

1976

Loan

Peter Creamer

1976

Brian Taylor

1975

Michael Trotter

1988

Loan

Geoff Walker

1954

£4,000

David Wheater

2006

Loan

Record victories

Home

September 28 1901: 6-0

Away

March 25 1967: 4-0

Record defeats

Home

None

Away

April 16 1955: 1-3

Highest Boro scorers v Doncaster in league and cup

6 - Clough
4 - Horsfield
3 - Scott

Boro hat-tricks v Doncaster

1957/58 - Brian Clough (H) 5-0 Division 2 (four goals)

1966/67 - Arthur Horsfield (A) 4-0 Division 3

Last win

Home

August 22 2009: 2-0

Away

January 26 2010: 4-1

Last defeat

Home

None

Away

December 17 2010: 1-2

Last draw

Home

None

Away

March 28 1902: 0-0

Boro bad boys - dismissals v Doncaster

None

Boro doubles

1955/56, 1966/67, 1986/87, 2009/10

Doncaster doubles

None

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