Ben Sheaf has had another month of appearances on loan with Doncaster Rovers for us to look back on, and we spoke to Into The Empty Net for an update.
Towards the end of November, reports started to emerge that Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers were looking to extend Sheaf’s loan until the end of the season.
Rovers fansite Into The Empty Net suggest this would be a welcome move from their club, though nothing concrete has materialised just yet. For the time being, let’s have a look back at Sheaf’s November performances in Doncaster.
Into The Empty Net’s November Loan Report
During a lean month for Doncaster Rovers due to postponements, Ben Sheaf has managed to retain his place and perform well in the few outings the team has had.
After a reportedly steady display in the FA Cup 1st Round draw away to AFC Wimbledon, Ben shone in the replay at the Keepmoat Stadium last Tuesday as Rovers registered a 2-0 victory. Despite a sluggish opening 45 minutes, Rovers took the lead through James Coppinger early in the second half, which allowed the midfield to push further forward with freedom, with Ben playing a key role in maintaining the team’s control of the ball.
One thing Sheaf has been improving of late is his transitional passing, putting the ball forward to spark attacks. He did that well here to make a quick forward move out of a congested midfield, with a chance eventually coming from the right wing for Jon Taylor that was saved by the Wimbledon keeper.
Ben created another chance for Taylor entirely on his own, harrying a defender in his own area and dispossessing him before squaring for his teammate, whose effort was blocked on the line. He also had a half-chance after shaping onto his left foot in a crowded box, but his shot was deflected wide off a defender’s knee.
With the game all but won at 2-0 in the closing stages, Ben then went very close from a corner, rising at the back post to get a header on goal that was turned behind after bouncing up off the turf. His attacking threat has increased considerably in recent games and a goal cannot be far away for the lad, even though his primary role is still that of a shielding central midfield player.
Rovers played only their second league game of the month this past Saturday away to leaders Wycombe but went down to a 1-0 defeat with Ben playing the full 90 minutes. This was a tough one for Ben and the whole team, a game of few clear cut chances and, due to a red card for the team early in the second half, Ben was moved temporarily to cover at centre half.
Although he reverted to central midfield after the introduction of Donervon Daniels, Ben was committed to a defensive role for the rest of the game and finished up back in defence after Daniels went off injured conceding a late penalty. There was little to glean in terms of individual notes for Ben as he was unable to push forward and contribute to attacks as much as he has in prior games.