Rovers return from the DW Stadium with a point in hand after an entertaining draw against Wigan Athletic.
Tuesday, 20th August 2013 at the DW Stadium, Wigan
Skybet League Championship
Referee – Mr Carl Boyeson
Attendance – 20,398
A warm and fine evening was the setting for the first League clash between these two teams since 1997. However, our last visit was in the League Trophy in 2002, which the Rovers won 1-0.
Rovers were unchanged following the win over Blackburn Rovers although Dean Furman, back from international duty, was on the bench in place of Kyle Bennett.
Wigan made two changes to their starting line-up following their defeat at Bournemouth. Chris McCann and James McClean replaced James McArthur and Jean Beausejour, who both drop to the bench. Nouha Dicko replaces Callum McManaman, sent off at Bournemouth, on the bench.
Rovers kicked off but the home team was soon on the ball. A free kick in the third minute on the home left led to a corner but it was cleared.
The teams then settled down to try and get the measure of their opponents. In the 13th minute Brown headed a cross, from Husband on the Rovers left, wide under challenge from a defender and the keeper.
At the other end Holt met a cross by Boyce, on the Wigan right, at the near post but his close range effort was blocked and cleared. Then a backpass by McCarthy from just inside his own half went straight to Robinson but he shot over from 25yards.
McCann, for the home team, then had a shot from 15yards palmed away by Turnbull. Good play from both sides over the next few minutes had the crowd roaring.
Then Barnett, on the Wigan right, put over a cross that hit the near post and bounced away.
In the 25th minute, however, the breakthrough came and in the Rovers favour. A good build-up ended with ROBINSON receiving with his back to goal 7yards out. He swiveled and hit the ball just inside the post for the first goal of the game.
Two minutes on and Cotterill, following a good build-up on the Rovers left, shot wide from 20yards. End-to-end play followed as Wigan tried to hit back but they were up against a resolute Rovers defence and the Rovers attack were putting pressure on the home defence.
As time ran down to the break some terrific play on the Rovers left by Husband, who slalomed past three home defenders, won the Rovers a corner. This was knocked out to Wabara on the Rovers right and his cross to the far post was headed back to the middle for BROWN to have the simple task of nodding the ball into the net in the 43rd minute.
Following the re-start Holt had a go from 20yards that was blocked but he put the rebound wide. Two stoppages during the half, for injuries to Jones and Wellens, brought five minutes of added time in which Watson put well wide from 25 yards and then the Rovers safely negotiated a corner to bring the first half to a close.
Half Time – Wigan Athletic 0 Doncaster Rovers 2
The start of the second half was a story of corners. Wigan went straight on to the attack and forced a corner, which Boyce headed over at the far post.
Two minutes later and a corner to the Rovers came out of the Wigan defence to Husband on the Rovers left. He crossed to the middle where Khumalo headed against a post. Two further corners to the home team came to nothing.
In the 55th minute, Coppinger won a corner for the Rovers, which was played short by Cotterill to Coppinger, back to Cotterill and then inside to Keegan but he put wide.
Then, in the 57th minute came hope for Wigan. The home team was awarded a free kick about 25 yards out. MALONEY took it and planted it into the corner of the net to Turnbull’s left where there was about six yards of space.
Following some good work by the Rovers Cotterill hit a 20yarder wide and followed this by firing high and wide from distance. Past the hour and Wigan then began to have the better of the play as they pushed the Rovers back on defence.
In the 72nd minute Beausejour crossed from the left for Boyce to head over the bar. Minutes later and Cotterill was again high and wide with a shot from just outside of the penalty area.
As the last ten minutes came up the Rovers penalty area was under siege but they defended stoutly until the 89th minute when Wigan won another corner. Gomez placed it into the area, it came out to the Wigan right and when the cross came in BARNETT hit it low into the net for an equaliser.
Paynter was introduced to the fray as the Rovers went for a winner. Paynter was soon into the play in added time and his header to a cross from the right thudded against the bar and away.
Robinson then fired over the bar following a free kick. Five minutes of added time brought the close to a thoroughly entertaining match, with a lot of good football although it got a bit feisty at times.
Result – Wigan Athletic 2 (Maloney 57 Barnett 89) Doncaster Rovers 2 (Robinson 25 Brown43)
Teams – Wigan Athletic – Scott Carson; Stephen Crainey, Emmerson Boyce ©, Leon Barnett, James Perch, James McCarthy, Chris McCann, Ben Watson, Shaun Maloney, James McClean, Grant Holt
Subs used – Marc-Antoine Fortune for Watson 46 mins; Jean Beausejour for McClean 60 mins; Jordi Gomez for McCann 81 mins;
Subs not used – James McArthur, Roger Espinoza, Nouha Dicko, Lee Nicholls gk
Caution – Gomez 91 mins;
Doncaster Rovers – Ross Turnbull; Reece Wabara, Bongani Khumalo, Rob Jones ©, James Husband; James Coppinger, Richie Wellens, Paul Keegan, David Cotterill; Chris Brown, Theo Robinson
Subs used – Dean Furman for Wellens 51 mins; Paul Quinn for Coppinger 76 mins; Billy Paynter for Wabara 90 mins;
Subs not used – David Syers, Mark Duffy, Luke McCullough, Jon Maxted gk
Cautions – Wellens 36 mins; Husband 38 mins; Robinson 86 mins