Saturday 2nd March 2013 at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
npower League 1
DONCASTER ROVERS 3 Hartlepool United 0
Referee – Mr S Bratt
Attendance – 7,457 (850 visitors)
The next–to–bottom team, Hartlepool United visited the Keepmoat Stadium on a sunny spring-like afternoon. It would not be easy for the Rovers, who made one change David Syers in for the injured Paul Keegan, because the ‘Pool are on an unbeaten run of seven games. The visitors also made one change, Andy Monkhouse replacing the injured Simon Walton. The Rovers defended the South Stand end in the first half.
The visitors got the game underway but the Rovers immediately got possession, with Hume hitting a weak left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area that Flinders collected easily. Into the third minute and Coppinger put Husband in down the left. He cut in and from the left side of the area hit a low shot that Flinders saved at the near post. Midfield play ensued over the next fifteen minutes as each side sought an opening. In the 19th minute a good cross from Cotterill on the right was headed out for a corner. The crowd appealed for a penalty when the kick came in but play went on and Coppinger forced another corner. This came out of the defence for Lundstram to get in a strike from 25yards that was high over the bar. Minutes later Franks, for the ‘Pool, put wide from 25yards and Baldwin followed suit a minute later from 30yards. On the half hour a long throw by Spurr, from halfway in the opposition half, was headed wide by Jones. Then Cotterill cut in from the right but shot high and wide. The breakthrough came in the 35th minute when Jones threaded a ball through to Hume, who took it on, dummied his way past a clutch of defenders before firing left footed into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors hit back by forcing a couple of corners but they came to nothing. In the 42nd minute some good play down the Rovers right from Cotterill and Coppinger led to Hume collecting on the byline and laying the ball back to Lundstram but his shot hit the foot of the near post and Coppinger, retrieving the ball, was flagged offside.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 1 Hartlepool United 0
The Rovers were straight on to the attack in the second half and three minutes in, Coppinger made a good run down the right before playing in Cotterill, who got the corner when he was tackled. This was placed to the far post by Cotterill where Syers headed back to the middle but Flinders made the ball his. In the 51st minute good work down the Rovers left gave Coppinger a shot from 25yards but Flinders saved. Two minutes later and the visitors won a corner but Wyke headed over the bar. The Rovers scored a second goal in the 55th minute. Good work by Cotterill on the right was followed by a cross to Husband on the left, then inside to COPPINGER near the byline at the near post, who steered it into the far corner of the net. Ten minutes later and a free kick from Cotterill on the left was met with a terrific header from McCombe that was going for the top corner but Flinders produced a brilliant save to tip it over the bar. Minutes later and Coppinger and cotterill linked up well on the right but Cotterill’s cross was headed over by Paynter. Then a long ball from Husband, on the Rovers left, to Cotterill, on the right, gave the latter a chance to cut in and from the angle of the penalty area hit a blistering shot that Flinders could only beat away. Syers went for the rebound but he kneed it over the bar. The visitors then won a corner but that was just some relief from being constantly on the defensive. A free kick on the Rovers right was met by Jones but he put it straight at the keeper, who caught it well. Then a high ball to Coppinger was played back from the edge of the area to Paynter but he fired over the bar. In the 77th minute the ‘Pool had a great chance to get on the scoresheet when a corner from Horwood was placed to the far post for Howard to head in but he put just past the far post. At the other end Husband homed in on goal but lost his footing at the vital time and Flinders collected the loose ball. Then a free kick to the Rovers just into their own half was lifted by McCombe to Paynter on the angle of the area on the Rovers right. A thunderous left foot drive was saved well by Flinders. But, a minute later, the 81st, Husband on the Rovers left put over a great cross that PAYNTER headed firmly past the keeper for a third goal. The Rovers continued to have the better of the play to the end but Hartlepool never gave up trying and a splendid match, played in a good spirit, and well refereed came to a victorious conclusion for the Rovers to consolidate their top position.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 3 (Hume 35 Coppinger 55 Paynter 81) Hartlepool United 0
Teams – ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, David Syers, John Lundstram, James Husband; James Coppinger, Iain Hume
Subs used – Billy Paynter for Hume 63 mins; Kyle Bennett for Cotterill 85 mins;
Subs not used – Liam Wakefield, Emile Sinclair, James Harper, Jordan Ball, Jon Maxted gk
Hartlepool United – Scott Flinders; Neil Austin, Sam Collins, Peter Hartley ©, Evan Horwood; Jack Baldwin, Ritchie Humphreys, Andy Monkhouse, Jonathan Franks; Charlie Wyke, James Poole
Subs used – Luke James for Franks 59 mins; Steve Howard for Poole 59 mins;
Subs not used – Nathan Luscombe, Greg Rutherford, Darren Holden, Brad Walker, Adam McHugh gk
Caution – Wyke 90 mins;