Referee – Mr Andy Woolmer
Attendance – 9,002 (1,244 visitors)
A bright sunny, warm afternoon welcomed the new football season at the Keepmoat Stadium, with Blackpool the first visitors.
The Rovers kicked off, with the early minutes being spent by both teams settling down as a team.
Then, in the 9th minute, a good build-up by the Rovers led to Duffy chipping a cross from the right to the far post where Brown headed back across goal and out the other side. Minutes later a good run by Cotterill was ended when he slipped and the chance was lost. In the 15th minute the visitors won a corner but it was cleared.
The next minute a shot cum cross from Grant on the left touchline whilst under challenge from Quinn had Turnbull diving at the foot of the near post to tip it out for a corner. The ball came out of the Rovers defence following the corner, to Ferguson on the edge of the penalty area but his shot was parried by Turnbull, who got his body in the way of the follow up by Davies. The ball ran loose and DAVIES was first to it to slot the ball into the empty net.
In the 20th minute came the first caution as the game took on a feisty turn. Two more followed in the three minutes. Cotterill then had a free kick from 18yards saved by Gilks. Then, in the 27th minute, a poor back pass to Turnbull by Husband was intercepted and eventually led to a cross from Grant on the Blackpool left, which was headed wide by Davies at the far post. Each side then won a corner from which nothing accrued. In the 35th minute a good build-up down the Rovers left brought in a cross, which Brown chested down to Duffy but his effort was high over the bar.
The Rovers were having their fair share of the game by playing some attractive football but they just could not get a clear sight of goal. Four minutes from the break another good build-up down the home left resulted in Coppinger cross right footed to the middle where Brown got in a good header, which Gilks caught under the bar. In added time the Rovers striker again headed over from another cross from the left.
It had been an entertaining first half, with some good football played and a feisty period in the middle.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Blackpool 1
Blackpool got the second half underway and won a corner in the fourth minute, which came to nothing. Five minutes later and the Rovers won a corner following a free kick but again nothing came from it.
The game was being played at quite a sedate pace but on the hour the Rovers won a corner on their right. Before it could be taken Bennett came on for Duffy. Then Cotterill swung the corner into the penalty corner where JONES rose head and shoulders above everybody to head powerfully into the net for the equaliser.
Two minutes later and a Bennett shot was deflected for a corner, which Jones headed wide of the far post. The game settled into an even contest, with a couple of cautions spicing things up. However, neither keeper was unduly troubled.
Paynter came on for the Rovers and his first kick was to blast over the bar from 25yards. In the 84th minute, Ince, for the visitors, was played in on goal and as Turnbull came out he slotted the ball past him but also past the far post. Two minutes later Blackpool won a corner, which Ince swung to the far post where MacKENZIE headed into the net.
The Rovers tried to hit back and in added time Cotterill crossed from the left for Jones but his header was deflected for a corner. Turnbull went up for the corner, which was well defended by the Blackpool defence.
The chances were there for the Rovers to get the ball back into the visitors’ penalty area but the ball was eventually played out to Ince on the right touchline ten yards into the Rovers half. He swept a shot goalwards, with neither keeper nor a red and white shirt in a position to intercept it. A desperate chase by Furman was to no avail as the ball slowly rolled inside the near post and over the line. It was an unlucky ending for the Rovers, who had played quite well.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Jones 60) Blackpool 3 (Davies 16 MacKenzie 86 Ince 90+4)
Teams – Rovers – Ross Turnbull; Paul Quinn, Bongani Khumalo, Rob Jones ©, James Husband; David Cotterill, Richie Wellens, Dean Furman, Mark Duffy; James Coppinger, Chris Brown
Subs used – Kyle Bennett for Duffy 60 mins; Billy Paynter for Coppinger 79 mins; David Syers for Wellens 89 mins;
Subs not used –Luke McCullough, Liam Wakefield, Paul Keegan, Jon Maxted gk
Cautions – Furman 21 mins; Quinn 72 mins;
Blackpool – Matt Gilks; Kirk Broadfoot, Gary MacKenzie, Craig Cathcart, Robert Harris, Barry Ferguson ©, Isaiah Osborne, Angel Martinez, Tom Ince, Bobby Grant, Steven Davies
Subs used – Jack Robinson for Harris 65 mins; Chris Basham for Grant 65 mins; Michael Chopra for Davies 80 mins;
Subs not used – Neal Bishop, Nathan Eccleston, Tom Barkhuizen, Mark Halstead gk
Cautions – Harris 20 mins; Osborne 24 mins; MacKenzie 39 mins;