Rovers - 0
Sheff Utd - 1 (Adams 42’)
Saturday 13th February
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
SkyBet League One
Doncaster Rovers have had to wait eleven days for a game due to last weekends’ derby against Scunthorpe United being postponed.
Darren Ferguson was pleased to welcome back Nathan Tyson and Andy Butler to the side who had been missing for some weeks with injury. Cameron Stewart also started as a very attacking starting eleven was named.
A win for Rovers would not only close the gap on the play-off chasing Blades to three points, but avenge a 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane back in September during Rob Jones’ temporary time in charge of the club.
As expected with a local derby it was a lively start to the game. Chris Neal was called into action very early on as the ball fell to Jose Baxter who volleyed at goal. On target, Neal somehow got his fingertips to it.
Blades went close again as another ball was played into the box. This time Neill Collins headed at goal, only to see his effort rebound off the crossbar.
Rovers settled and grew into the game. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair played a long ball towards Andy Williams to put him through on goal, he turned to shoot but George Long saved.
Williams went close again after wonderful work from Tyson set him up in the box but his final shot was well blocked. The striker then had his header cleared off the line moments later.
On the stroke of half time the visitors took the lead. A superb ball over the top from Baxter found Che Adams in the box. Leaving Chris Neal no choice but to come off his line, Adams poked the ball home as Nigel Adkins side took the lead.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-1 Blades
Former Sheffield United player Craig Alcock was introduced into the action shortly after the break, the versatile defender was brought on for centre half Andy Butler.
Alcock was on the attack straight away as he set winger Stewart on his way on the 50th minute, he easily evaded Collins who was backtracking towards his own goal. The Ipswich Town loanee chose the usual option of shooting from the right corner of the box which forced a superb save from Long.
Rovers were beginning to string a few passes together and could have been level thanks to the brilliance of youngster Harry Middleton. After receiving a direct pass from Stewart, the midfielder fizzed an inviting ball across the six-yard box for the lurking Tyson, unfortunately for the striker he could not get his big toe to the ball.
With 20 minutes of the game remaining Chris Neal made a stunning one-on-one save to keep Doncaster in this South Yorkshire derby.
Blades’ Louis Reed picked the ball up in the middle of the field and played a lovely one-two with goal scorer Adams who sold Luke McCullough for a dummy before sliding the ball back to Reed to get his shot off, out came Neal who made himself as big as possible to make the save with his left foot.
Rovers gave everything they had to try and get level late in the second half which included a half chance for Andy Williams after some poor defending from Sheffield United, however the ball bobbled up and hit off his knee which sent it sailing wide of Long’s left post.
FULL TIME: Rovers 0-1 Blades
Rovers: Neal, Evina, McCullough, Taylor-Sinclair, Butler (Alcock 45’), Keegan (c), Middleton, Williams, Tyson, Gooch (Mandeville 62’), Stewart (Chaplow 76’)
Unused Subs: Stuckmann, Lund, Lecygne, Davies
Cautions: Alcock 60'
United: Long, Brayford, Baxter, Collins, McEveley, Campbell-Ryce (Flynn 74’), Reed (Basham 81’), Calvert-Lewin (Woolford 85’), Adams, Edgar, Hammond
Unused Subs: Howard, Coutts, Done, Sammon
Cautions: Hammond 67'
Attendance: 10,168 (3,784)