Yeovil Town: James Hayter ready for clash against former club Doncaster Rovers
Striker James Hayter wants to send old friends home unhappy on Saturday when Yeovil Town lock horns with former club Doncaster Rovers.
The former non-League adversaries renew rivalries at Huish Park for the first time since Hayter’s summer release from the relegated Championship outfit.
The 32-year-old scored 39 times in almost 180 appearances for Rovers during five years at the Keepmoat Stadium.
However, as the Yorkshire outfit cut back following relegation and after a frustrating season where opportunities were limited, Hayter returned closer to Dorset roots laid while with AFC Bournemouth to team up with long-standing fan Gary Johnson.
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Both Doncaster and table-topping Yeovil have started the new season in good form, but Hayter hopes he and the hosts will be smiling at 5pm on Saturday.
“I had five good seasons at Doncaster so it will be a bit strange playing against them with a few familiar faces in the team,” he said. “But we will be hoping to get one over on them.
“There was a big turnover of players in the summer. Everyone out of contract left and they had to get rid of their higher earners so there are only a few familiar faces and are a bit different. It will be nice to see a few of them but then hopefully nice to beat them.
“I think they are one of the fancied teams. Our next three league games against Doncaster, AFC Bournemouth and MK Dons are against teams fancied to do well so it will be a good test and show us where we are realistically with the squad.
“It will be a tough game but we are quite confident and playing some good, attacking football and we feel we are capable of a good result.”
On Tuesday, the Glovers lost for the first time since the new-look squad returned for pre-season at the start of July, defeated 4-2 by Premier League West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup.
Despite the loss, Hayter insisted confidence at Yeovil remained high and encouraged supporters to recreate a similar atmosphere to the midweek clash.
He said: “We have had a good start. We are quite confident but obviously a bit disappointed to get knocked out of the cup, albeit against Premier League opposition.
“I thought we acquitted ourselves well. Hopefully we can continue that form and that will be good enough to get a result.
“It was a really good atmosphere and nice to look around and see so few empty seats. Hopefully that will carry on.
“They (Doncaster) will be pretty confident. They have had two good league results and are in similar form. They actually rested a couple the other night (in the Cap Cup against Hull City) and may have some coming back. It all bodes well for a good game.
“If you ever want to do anything you have got to try and make your home a fortress and hopefully win as many home games as possible.”
Hayter, who scored twice in Yeovil’s opening win of the season at Brentford, also hailed the impact of strike partner Reuben Reid.
“He is obviously a good player,” said the Isle of Wight-born player. “He has got three goals already and I have a couple so hopefully we can get a good understanding and get a few more goals between us.
“We are both team players and the most important thing is getting points and progressing. Whoever scores we are more than happy for each other.”