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More to life than the Premiership!

Not a dull moment in exciting League I thriller at Belle Vue

OVER the course of the past few weeks I've seen a lot of Premiership football - and I've seen a lot of dross.

The hype certainly hasn't been matched by the quality on the pitch.

Of course there have been some magical moments, a fantastic Didier Drogba goal for Chelsea and a John Arne Riise thunderbolt for Liverpool, but such magnificence has been few and far between.

Yet on Tuesday night I saw a match that had everything, and it came in Coca-Cola League I, proving yet again that life goes on outside the Premier League.

Everybody who went to Belle Vue (I struggle to call it the Earth Stadium) to watch Doncaster Rovers v Bradford City left the ground wanting to come back for more.

The match simply buzzed along from the moment Dean Windass (pictured) scored after just 41 seconds.

Bradford, buoyed by a scintillating display from their speedy Jamaican winger Jermaine Johnson, were in total control for 40 minutes.

Then Rovers suddenly took on the mantle of Real Madrid by scoring three in 13 minutes either side of half-time.

Bradford panicked but were given a way back into the match by the dismissal of Rovers centre- back and captain Graeme Lee.

And they deservedly went on to win themselves a point in a pulsating finish.

There wasn't a dull moment and the 3-3 draw was not only a fair result, it provided some rich entertainment.

I mention all of this because it rounded off a week for Rovers that sums up football.

The previous midweek, their fans had roared them on to yet another Carling Cup success, Derby County swept out of the competition in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Yet four days later they were booed off by the same people after the drabbest of goalless draws with Blackpool - their third in a row in the league.

That's football supporters for you - fickle to say the least.

Some stayed behind to have a go at Colin Todd over what they conceived as the "cheating" of Windass who was involved in the incident that lead to Lee's red card.

Toddy was in the mood to take them on.

"I'm not the referee, I'm only the manager so what do I know," he said to one vociferous protester.

It just struck me that fans can say what they want to who they want in a football ground but if the altercation had taken place during the game the Bradford manager would almost certainly have been reprimanded for his reaction. That can't be right.

One funny little sideline during the game.

After 80 minutes the PA man boomed out: "Substitution for Barnsley!" And we thought we were watching Bradford!
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2006
Words:460
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