Ben Sheaf made his sixth club appearance of the new season in a 2-1 win at the weekend, so we spoke to a Doncaster Rovers fansite for their thoughts on the Arsenal loanee’s latest showing.
Sheaf is on loan for the season with Doncaster Rovers, and he played 90 minutes for the club in a victory over Rotherham United on Saturday.
The midfielder was returning from a strange and rather grisly injury, but it appears he had no trouble slotting back into the side.
Doncaster fansite Into The Empty Net gave us their thoughts on the performance:
“After missing our last league game due to a bizarre injury, Ben Sheaf was back in the centre of midfield for Doncaster Rovers in a huge local derby game this past Saturday against Rotherham.
“Sheaf was sidelined by an infected insect bite on his knee that prevented him from training for several days, but after returning in the EFL Trophy win over Lincoln last Tuesday, he was back alongside captain Ben Whiteman in the heart of midfield and put in probably his most accomplished performance to date.
“Rovers struggled to get much going in the attacking third in the first half with the ball often bypassing Sheaf completely through no fault of his own – our game-plan stifled by Rotherham’s energetic high press.
“On the rare occasions in which he was able to stamp his mark on proceedings in the opening period, Sheaf did his job well by moving the ball on and helping to break up numerous passing moves through the middle.
“His ability to put a foot in and cover teammates was vital, showing clear progression in this department since his arrival.
“Chasing the game at the start of the second half, Rovers took control of possession much more frequently with Sheaf heavily involved. He and Whiteman pushed further forward as a tandem helping to lay on multiple attacks down the flanks that led to chances.
“Here, Sheaf demonstrated his intelligence by breaking the lines to put himself in advanced positions that benefited the team, with his best moment of the game coming minutes before the eventual equaliser.
“When a left-wing cross was headed out to the edge of the penalty area, Sheaf found space to run on and hit a sumptuous half-volley from 20 yards, connecting sweetly to force a brilliant diving reflex save out of Rotherham keeper Lewis Price. This is as close as he has come to a goal in a Rovers shirt and if he can strike a ball as accurately as he did here, it won’t be long before he’s on the scoresheet.
“Sheaf also helped to lay on a chance for Niall Ennis with the scores level at 1-1 that was also well saved by Price, eventually completing the entire 90 minutes in a 2-1 victory. The maturity with which he handled a very tense occasion was admirable and he showed plenty of quality.
“He is beginning to build a strong understanding with Whiteman which enables Rovers to maximise manager Darren Moore’s possession-based tactical plan and looks certain to retain his starting place going forward.”