Saturday, 13 April 2013 at the Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe
Npower League 1
Crewe Alexandra 1 DONCASTER ROVERS 2
Referee – Mr Stuart Attwell
Attendance – 5,465 (1,122 visitors)
A cold breeze was still with us together with a grey sky but at least it was dry at Gresty Road, for the match against new JPT winners, Crewe Alexandra. The Rovers made two changes to their starting line-up. Andy Griffin suffered a leg injury on Tuesday against Carlisle United and with Paul Quinn also out with injury the only available full back is James Husband, normally a left sided player. Gary Woods was also out, with a back injury so Neil Sullivan was between the posts. The home team made five changes to their starting line-up following the home defeat to Brentford on Tuesday. Steve Philips, Kevin Stewart, Abdul Osman, Luke Murphy and Ajay Leitch-Smith made way for Alan Martin, George Ray, Michael West, Chuks Aneke and Kelvin Mellor. The Rovers got the first half underway, kicking towards the Gresty Road end.
The Rovers attacked from the kick off and won a corner in the 3rd minute. This came to nothing then minutes later Husband crossed from the right but Brown, with a glancing header, put wide. Crewe threatened in the tenth minute but it petered out. Coppinger then tried a shot from 30yards but was just wide of the post. In the 18th minute Aneke, for the home team, had a go from 25yards but put it high over the bar. The Rovers then went down the left with Coppinger, who passed inside to Lundstram but his effort from 25yards was saved by Martin. Then a corner to the Rovers came to nothing. In the 23rd minute Crewe went down their left, with Clayton eventually putting over the bar from just outside the penalty area. The Rovers were enjoying most of the possession and on the half hour Lundstram received in the home half and went round at least three men before shooting from 25 yards but put it straight at Martin, who saved comfortably. Despite having most of the possession the Rovers couldn’t find a way to goal and in the 36th minute they nearly paid for it. Moore got a clear sight of goal from 15 yards to the right of goal but Sullivan spread himself as the shot came in and blocked it before being cleared. A corner to the Alex came to nothing. Back to the other end went the Rovers where Hume put wide followed shortly after by Cotterill doing the same from just outside the penalty area. In the 41st minute a long clearance downfield from the Rovers defence put Hume clear on goal. He tried to lob the keeper as he came out but Martin caught it much to Humes’s chagrin. The home team replied by forcing a corner, which was cleared. Hume then had a good shot blocked at the expense of a corner, which came out of defence to Furman but he fired over the bar. The Rovers had the ball in the net in the 44th minute but Furman was given offside. In the last minute, a corner to the Rovers was touched goalwards at the near post by Hume but Martin was there to block it and clear.
Half Time – Crewe Alexandra 0 Doncaster Rovers 0
The home team kicked off but the Rovers were soon on the attack, with Husband firing wide from 30 yards three minutes in. A corner to the Rovers came to nothing and then a good build-up ended with Hume stabbing the ball wide from close range. Then, in the 54th minute, calamity befell the Rovers. Hume received halfway in the opponent’s half and passed the ball backwards but there wasn’t a white shirt anywhere near it. CLAYTON picked it up halfway in the Rovers half took it on and fired low across the goal and into the far bottom corner. Minutes later and Cotterill hit a free kick from a central position over the bar from 25yards. The Rovers had the ball in the net again in the 59th minute when Brown, clearly offside, touched a shot from Furman into the net. On the hour, and Paynter came on for Hume. Past the hour and a free kick from the Rovers right, was met by a glancing header by McCombe but it went wide. Two minutes later and another free kick to the Rovers from the right touchline was met with a good header by Jones but Martin, diving to his right, saved on the goal-line. Then, in the 66th minute, came the Rovers equaliser. PAYNTER received the ball to the left of goal, took it on and rifled into the far corner of the net from just outside the penalty area. In the 69th minute a good cross from Spurr on the left forced a corner, which Cotterill placed to the middle. A back header from Jones fell to the feet of PAYNTER, who planted it into the net to give the Rovers the lead. Crewe tried to hit back but the Rovers defence were not in the mood to let them get a grip on the game. The clock ran down, including five minutes of added time but the Rovers were comfortably in control. A good win to keep the pressure on the following pack at the top.
Result – Crewe Alexandra 1 (Clayton 54) Doncaster Rovers 2 (Paynter 66, 69)
Teams – Crewe Alexandra – Alan Martin; Matt Tootle, Harry Davis ©, Mark Ellis, George Ray; Chuks Aneke, Michael West, Kelvin Mellor, Bradden Inman; Byron Moore, Max Clayton
Subs used – Oliver Turton for West 68 mins; Ryan Colclough for Inman 76mins; Nathan Ellington for Aneke 78 mins;
Subs not used – Ajay Leitch- Smith, Billy Waters, Kevin Stewart, Ben Garratt gk
Cautions – Inman 57 mins;
ROVERS – Neil Sullivan; James Husband, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; James Coppinger, Dean Furman, John Lundstram, David Cotterill; Iain Hume, Chris Brown
Subs used – Billy Paynter for Hume 60 mins;
Subs not used – Liam Wakefield, James Harper, Cameron Howieson, Kyle Bennett, Jordan Ball, Jon Maxted gk