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Doncaster Rovers fans are finally warming to Ben Sheaf, after some good performances in recent matches for the Arsenal loanee.
In our last report on Sheaf, we noted he was searching for consistency with Doncaster Rovers. It seems he might have finally found some, after a couple of positive displays in the last couple of weeks.
Doncaster Rovers fansite Into The Empty Net provided us with the following report on the midfielder’s latest showings.
Report from ‘Into The Empty Net’
Two games in five days yielding four points have pushed Doncaster Rovers closer to the Play-Off places, with Ben Sheaf at the heart of the performances once more.
Ben’s shaky spell in the recent defeat to Coventry clearly had no ill effect on the young midfielder as he took the opportunity to impress in front of the national Sky audience with aplomb in the following Friday night’s 0-0 draw against Sunderland.
His display as a combative midfield presence had a big impact on Doncaster’s ability to keep the Black Cats at bay and earn a creditable point under immense pressure. Numerous attack-breaking tackles and superb coverage of the defence from Ben allowed Rovers to stifle Sunderland’s relentless attack, particularly in the second half.
The best asset Ben brought to the game, however, was his ability to shield the ball in midfield and open up space to transition the play into an attacking situation for Rovers. He was a busy presence playing around Sunderland’s central duo George Dobson and Max Power, and regularly fed the ball wide with pinpoint accuracy to alleviate pressure.
His composed, quality showing earned plenty of praise from Rovers fans afterwards and saw many Sunderland fans also touting him as one of the team’s best players, demonstrating his class to impress even the opposition and neutrals watching on.
Ben followed this up with a tidy 90 minutes on Tuesday night as Rovers got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Southend.
Although the team’s passing play was not up to the usual standard, Ben rarely put a foot wrong and was able to play in the opposition half a lot more than against Sunderland as the team imposed themselves positionally on their struggling opponents.
Ben’s position as a defensive screen was less prominent in this game due to the overwhelming possession advantage Doncaster enjoyed, but he again proved his importance to chance creation by continuing his fine run of contributing to goals.
It was Ben’s pass to spread play wide to winger Jon Taylor that allowed Kieran Sadlier to head home Taylor’s cross and put the game to bed at 3-0, and shortly after Southend pulled one back Ben went close to his first official Rovers goal – having had his strike in the reverse fixture changed to an own goal – with a volley that was deflected over the bar from just inside the box.
All-in-all, another step forward for Ben Sheaf then and signs at last that his quality is starting to be recognised by those Rovers fans who have struggled to warm to him in the first few months of the season.