Experienced goalkeeper Neil Sullivan says the drama of the final few seconds at Brentford were unbelievable as Doncaster Rovers clinched the League One title.
Rovers went into the final game of the season at Brentford knowing a draw would be enough to win promotion at the expense of their opponents, who needed a win to leapfrog them in the table.
It looked like Rovers were going to clinch a point and promotion as the game entered stoppage time with the score at 0-0.
What then happened was real Roy of the Rovers stuff, or should I say ‘Neil of the Rovers`. Firstly, Brentford were awarded a penalty in the final minute of the five added minutes for stoppages.
Marcello Trotta stepped up to win promotion for Brentford and condemn Rovers to the play-offs but in the space of 18 seconds, Rovers heartache went to huge celebrations.
Trotta smashed his penalty against the crossbar, Rovers broke with Billy Paynter finding an unmarked James Coppinger who tapped in from close range. What made it even more remarkable was Rovers were crowned champions after Bournemouth could only manage a goalless draw at Tranmere Rovers and Sullivan, who has experienced many ups and down in a 20-year career in the game, says it was an unbelievable ending.
Speaking on the Football League Show, Sullivan said, “The drama was unbelievable. We have done fantastically well for ninety-three and a half minutes and then for the penalty and then right at the death, you couldn`t write it.”
It is most probably a fairy-tale finish to the Doncaster career of the 43-year old goalkeeper, who made his debut from Wimbledon in 1993.
Sullivan is in his sixth year with Doncaster and in his time at the club, he has won the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy, the League One Play-off Final and now the League One title.
It looked like Sullivan had played his final game for Rovers last season when he was loaned out to League Two side AFC Wimbledon earlier this season.
Sullivan was due to stay at Wimbledon for the remainder of the season but an injury to regular goalkeeper Gary Woods saw Rovers recall him to the club and he put in a man of the match performance in what proved a crucial win at Bournemouth.
Woods was recalled to the side for the next game but a further injury saw Sullivan return to the side and play the last three games of the season for Rovers.
In a career that has seen him make over 600 appearances, play in the Premier League with Wimbledon, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as well as winning 28 caps for his national side Scotland, it would be a fitting way to hang up his gloves.
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