Andy Williams inspires Rovers once again.
Oldham Athletic – 1 (Murphy 75’)
Doncaster Rovers –2 (Williams 12’ 44’)
Monday 28th December 2015, 3:00pm
SportsDirect.com Park, Oldham
Sky Bet League One
Attendance: 4432 (766 Away)
Doncaster Rovers bounced back to winning ways after an inspired performance from Andy Williams against Oldham Athletic at the SportsDirect.com Park this afternoon, Darren Ferguson’s men were beaten 1-0 on Boxing Day by local rivals Scunthorpe United after striker Paddy Madden scored his 14th goal of the season.
It was the hosts who could have took the lead within the first three minutes of the fixture, a whipped cross from Mike Jones was met by the head of Carl Winchester but it sailed over Thorston Stuckmann’s crossbar.
A minute later Latics captain Liam Kelly had Stuckmann scrambling across his goal as the centre-midfielder unleashed a thunderbolt from 30-yards out, luckily for Rovers the ball flew inches wide.
On the 12th minute a piece of brilliance from Andy Williams broke the deadlock.
Craig Alcock put a superb chipped free-kick over the top of the Oldham defence, Andy Williams brought the ball down expertly leaving the defence for dead, he decided to have a pop with the outside of his right-foot, the ball flew into the top left corner giving David Cornell in the Oldham goal no chance.
Two minutes later Rovers were inches away from doubling their lead, some superb individual play from Conor Grant as he created some space for himself to have a dig from 20-yards, his low curing effort rattled the bottom of the post and bounced away to safety.
Oldham were close to pulling the game back level through Jones but his goal-bound header was expertly tipped round the post by Stuckmann diving to his left, from that resulting corner up rose James Wilson who was up from the back, his header clipped the top of the bar and it luckily for Rovers it continued to travel over the crossbar.
Darren Ferguson’s men began to take charge once again and Williams should have had his second of the game, a fantastic pinpoint cross from Grant was met by a darting run the striker had made but he was unable to beat the large frame of Cornell in the Latics goal.
A minute before half-time Williams and Rovers did have their second.
Harry Middleton’s tricky feet in the corner saw him pass an on-rushing defender with ease, the youngster then put a looping cross to the back post where Williams was situated, he managed to hook the ball over the top of the defender who was on the line, the ball smacked the post and somehow managed to spin over goal line.
Half-Time: Oldham Athletic 0-2 Doncaster Rovers
After a blistering end to the first-half the second did not start with the same intensity, it took ten minutes for the first chance of the second half and it came through Everton loanee Grant.
The youngster carried the ball a long way before deciding to hit a low left-footed shot that was inches away from sneaking into the bottom right corner.
It was then the turn of the home side to have an effort on goal, substitute Cameron Dummigan decided to go alone from 30-yards, his effort looked to be flying into the bottom corner but out came the leg of Cedric Evina to deny the Latics a way back into the game.
With 15 minutes of the game remaining Oldham managed to pull one back, a long ball over the top of the Rover defence fell at the feet of Mark Yates who had only just entered the fray, his initial shot was saved by Stuckmann but the big German could not prevent the rebound from Rhys Murphy rippling the back of the net.
The hosts were battling hard for a point and they could have had one right at the death, an in-swinging ball towards the penalty spot was met by the head of goal-scorer Murphy but he could not repeat his heroics.
Full- Time: Oldham Athletic 1-2 Doncaster Rovers
OAFC STARTING XI: Cornell, Dieng, Wilson (Dummigan 45’), Kelly (C), Jones, Philliskirk, Cassidy, Winchester (Yates 62’), Murphy, Wilson, Eckersley (Mills 71’).
OAFC SUBS NOT USED: Coleman, Croft, Poleon, Rasulo.
DRFC STARTING XI: Stuckmann, Evina, Butler, Williams (Tyson 64’), Keegan, Taylor-Sinclair, Grant, Coppinger (C) (Chaplow 71’), Middleton, Mattioni (Lund 31’), Alcock.
DRFC SUBS NOT USED: Marosi, McCoullough, Mandeville, Whitehouse.
17’ Alcock (DRFC) – Yellow
68’ Yates (OAFC) – Yellow
70’ Eckersley (OAFC) – Yellow