The Emirates FA Cup Third Round - Doncaster Rovers vs Stoke City FC

January 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

On Saturday I travelled north to the new Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers FC for their third round Emirates FA Cup match against Stoke City FC. I was there on behalf of Action Plus Sports Images. This match was a 3:00pm kick off so I aimed to be there nice and early to have a good look around the ground and settle in before the match.

The ground has ample parking albeit a short walk and seems well thought out. Lots of space for photographers and a comfortable media room. Once I arrived at reception and showed my credentials, I was welcomed in the media room with a hot pie to warm us up - just what I needed. The media room is also used as a classroom so ample space and it also overlooked the pitch. After setting up my laptop and preparing all my data files for image downloading and putting on pass and bib, I went for a walk around the pitch and stadium. This is always to good time to get the lay of the land and talk to stewards. These people always provide useful information about previous games and can really help to identify good locations. It is also useful to establish a good rapport with them since there may be an occasion when you have to leave all your equipment on pitch side whilst taking warm-up and manager shots pre-game.

Once these pre-game images are downloaded, captioned and uploaded to the picture editor, I'm off to see the opposition arrive and capture any fan images. With about an hour left before kick off, it is useful to get team warm-up shots and prepare for the managers arriving before kick-off. Then is the blink of an eye the pace goes up a few gears as the match starts. On paper Doncaster looked the underdogs against Stoke, but as the home team they put up a valiant effort throughout the first half. Stoke managed to go ahead with a strike from Peter Crouch after 15 minutes but Doncaster fought back with an equaliser from Tyson in the 25th Minute. In the second half, the two teams seemed competitive but as the game progress Stoke seemed to get the upper hand and this payed off with a Walters goal in the 57th minute. In the last ten minutes Stoke slowed the pace of the ball by keeping hold of the ball but Doncaster fought hard to regain control but they just ran out of time. A worthy cup tie and Stoke were the strongest team on the day and deserving winners.

As with all matches, my images are uploaded to the server as they happen. Shooting football for the wire services requires some multi-tasking skills as you are always trying to do a numbers of jobs simultaneously and also be very efficient in your workflow. We must constantly and simultaneously watch the action, capture images, download images, caption images, edit images and upload images to the news wire. It takes time to master the skill and it is high pressure work which I love since you are working full on from the whistle to an hour after the match ends.

As always, it was a pleasure to see the players perform from a close viewpoint and the match provided a selection of images which can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website.


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