Thu 10 Dec 15
Rovers - 1 (Evina 88’)
Port Vale - 2 (Leitch-Smith 6’, 65')
Tuesday, 26th January, 2016
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
SkyBet League One
Having lost just one league match in the last nine, Rovers were looking to continue their unbeaten run, and with Port Vale sat just one place above them in the League One table, a win would see them leapfrog Rob Page’s side .
Eddy Lecygne arrived on loan from Stoke and became Darren Ferguson’s latest signing, joining Lynden Gooch who also signed last week.
Gooch was included in the starting eleven for the game and made his home debut at the Keepmoat Stadium, while Lecygne occupied a place on the bench.
The Sunderland loanee picked up where he left off at Fleetwood on Saturday and looked lively from the word go. He went close when Alcock played him in; twisting and turning the striker cut inside and shot with his left foot forcing Jak Alnwick into a smart save. James Coppinger followed up with a header but Alnwick was there again.
Following the two Rovers chances, Port Vale caught the home side on the break. As Matthew Kennedy played in AJ Leitch-Smith a couple of deflections caused some confusion in the Rovers box, before Leitch-Smith dinked the ball over Stuckmann to put the visitors ahead.
Vale went close again minutes later as Kennedy had a free shot on goal from 12 yards but a great reaction save by Stuckmann with his feet denied Vale their second.
Richard Chaplow went inches away from getting the equaliser for Rovers when some nice passing invited Gooch to cross into the box. Chaplow bravely went in but his header was just wide.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-1 Port Vale
Despite being forced into a change at half time as Stuckmann came off injured, Rovers came out lively in the second half and pressured early on through Gooch and Coppinger.
They were appealing for a penalty when Richard Chaplow broke into the box and went down after what looked like a clear push in the back. However the referee said no and waved play on.
Unfortunately the visitors doubled their lead and Leitch-Smith doubled his tally on 65 minutes. With Leitch-Smith completely unmarked in the box Hooper picked him out, before he rounded Marko Marosi and blasting the ball into the net.
With very little happening Rovers pulled a goal back from nowhere and it was game on for the final five minutes.
Cedric Evina broke down the left before crossing a dangerous ball deep to the back post. In bizarre fashion Alnwick couldn’t keep the ball out and it found the top corner!
The home side pushed for the equaliser, Conor Grant struck a fierce shot at goal forcing Alnwick into a very good save and Liam Mandeville couldn’t quite find the follow up.
FULL TIME: Rovers 1-2 Port Vale
Rovers: Stuckmann (Marosi 45’), McCullough, Taylor-Sinclair, Lund (Lecygne 62’), Evina, Alcock, Grant, Coppinger (c) (Mandeville 74’), Chaplow, Gooch, Williams
Unused Subs: MacKenzie, Keegan, Main, N’Guessan
Port Vale: Alnwick, Dickinson (c), McGivern, Duffy, O’Connor (Inniss 90’), Kennedy (Foley 74’), Dodds, Hooper (Robinson 86’), Yates, Leitch-Smith, Grant
Unused Subs: Neal, Purkiss, Brown, Kelly
Cautions: Kennedy 70'