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Cans & Megabus Away Guide: Everything Sunderland fans need to know about their trip to Doncaster

Are you one of the 4000 mackem madheads off to Doncaster today? Fair play. Read this - where to drink, where to park, what to expect... and a special message to the fanbase.

Doncaster Rovers v Hull City - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Who Are These Jobbers?

There was a time when this guide would take a sideways, jovial sideswipe at our opposition. Here at Cans & Megabus we would label the jobbers Sunderland were about to face as just that, jobbers. Useless cannonfodder that would be swallowed up by the unstoppable juggernaut of Sunderland Association Football Club.

However, the egg is firmly on our face now. Thanks to Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and Phil Parkinson, in an ironic twist of fate, it seems that we are actually the jobbers. It’s quite an impressive feat from our fearless leaders to go from saviours to pariahs in just 18 months but here we are.

At the top we have an owner that has routinely promised the earth and delivered very little and yet still seems to be the human embodiment the “This Is Fine” dog meme as the house around him burns. His sidekick spent his entire tenure insulting fans yet expecting them to buy him a pint until he finally got bored of that and did the honourable thing and left.

And in the dugout, well where to begin? Playing for a point at Gillingham, alienating our best player, exiting three cup competitions in 10 days and failing to score a goal away from home during the 2 months he’s been here. It speaks volumes about Parkinson’s management that his relatively short tenure has felt like an absolute eternity.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. We can’t go on any longer being the jobbers the rest of the country sees us as. Get down to Doncaster, take your tennis balls, take your banners and make your feelings known to this absolute shower running our football club. Leave, and leave now.

Yes, I know this isn’t our usual trademark quips but these unchartered waters we’re now in and sometimes, even the clowns have to take off their masks.

What’s The Ground Like?

After away trips to rustic pieces of scaffolding off the A2, how comforting it is to return to a soulless stadium plonked in a retail park off the A1. Granted, the Keepmoat Stadium is one of the more modern venues we visit in this hellscape division, my word is it boring.

On the banks of the imaginatively called Lakeside Lake, it’s a nice enclosed stadium with four incredibly bland red stands. Sunderland fans are situated at the North Stand and, more bafflingly, we’ve sold out nearly 4,000 tickets for this post-Christmas jamboree.

Doncaster Rovers v Leicester City U21 Trophy Photo by Plumb Images

How Do I Get There?

It’s a lovely straightforward journey down to Doncaster. If you’re caressing the sweet asphalt of the UK’s fabulous motorways take the A19 and A1(M) down to junction 35 and exit for the M18. Leave at junction 3 for the A6182 following the signs for the Keepmoat Stadium. There is a car park at the ground but space will be at a premium so try and find yourself a spot in the surrounding industrial estates.

If you get lost (not that you could with directions that precise) plop DN4 5JW into your sat nav.

For the big dawgs on the train, Doncaster railway station is around a 25-minute walk from the ground. You can either jump on the number 56 bus from Doncaster Interchange or get a taxi from the nearest convenient spot.

Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?

It’s been a while since we’ve got to experience the sweet retail park vibes that come with visiting a League One football stadium. Luckily, Doncaster is bringing it all back with the only pub within striking distance of the Keepmoat being a The Lakeside, a Beefeater pub sandwiched between a Premier Inn and a McDonald’s.

If you want some more inviting surroundings then head into Doncaster town centre to find a myriad of decent pubs. In Doncaster railway station you’ll find the rustic setting of The Draughtsman Alehouse, a piece of Doncastrian history which was originally built as a Victorian buffet room.

However, if you’d like to venture into the town then swing by The Queen Crafthouse and Kitchen on Sunny Bar which has one of the best crisps selection in South Yorkshire. Taste a fine drop of local ale at Doncaster Brewery & Tap on Young Street while as you start your journey to the ground you can have a quick pint in The Leopard on West Street.

And if you absolutely must, The Gate House on Priory Walk is Doncaster’s go-to Wetherspoons.

The Draughtsman Alehouse

Is There Anything Good To Do Around Here?

Considered to be the jewel of Doncaster’s, Cusworth Hall is a massive stately home which dates back to 1740. Wander around its splendid gardens, stop by the museum and enjoy a scone in Butlers Tea Room & Bistro and all those haunting memories of losing 3-0 the day before will drift away.

Give into the rampant capitalist urge of spending money of frivolous items by visiting the Wool Market in Doncaster town centre. Gorge yourself on stonebaked pizza and peruse the wealth of stalls selling an array of gifts and other handicrafts. And if you’re really bored, you can hit Doncaster Dome, a massive entertainment complex of indoor water parks, ice skating and much more.

Photo credit: Visit Doncaster

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