Captain fantastic Rob Jones scored the only goal of the game as Rovers maintained top spot in the league.
Saturday, 6th April 2013 at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Npower League 1
Doncaster Rovers 1 Tranmere Rovers 0
Referee – Mr D Coote
Attendance – 7,979 (668 visitors)
A sunny afternoon, with a cold breeze made ideal conditions for playing football, although the pitch may dictate otherwise. The Rovers were unchanged whilst Tranmere made just the one change, Andy Robinson replacing the injured Mamady Sidibe. The Rovers defended the South Stand end in the first half.
Tranmere set the ball rolling but the Rovers were soon on the ball. They won a corner after five minutes, with the ball coming out of the Tranmere defence to Griffin. His high ball back to the middle was met with a Jones header but Fon Williams saved. The Rovers continued to have the better of the possession so that it was the 11th minute before the visitors got a sniff at the Rovers goal when a high cross from Holmes on the Tranmere right was headed over the bar by Bakayogo at the far post. At the other end Cotterill had a shot a shot on target blocked but they eventually won a corner. Five minutes on and some good play between Coppinger and Bennett gave the latter a shot at goal but it was deflected for a corner, which was put out for another corner. The game evened out after twenty minutes or so. Cotterill put wide from 20yards and the visitors pushed the Rovers back on to defence. Past the half hour and a corner to Tranmere was cleared. Minutes later a good link-up on the Rovers left between Coppinger, Brown and Furman gave Furman a crack at goal but he put wide. Play was concentrated in midfield as time ran down to the break. Tranmere were awarded a free kick near the corner flag on their left in the 44th minute but a glancing header put it wide of the far post. Then a good build-up by the Rovers led to Coppinger feeding Cotterill but his twenty-five yarder was just wide of a post.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Tranmere Rovers 0
The Rovers got the second half underway and won a corner but nothing came from it. Five minutes in and Akpa Akpro received on the Tranmere left and from the edge of the penalty area fired wide of the near post. In the 53rd minute a free kick on the halfway line close to the Rovers right touchline was placed by Cotterill to the far post where Jones headed wide. Midfield play ensued until the 63rd minute when the Rovers were awarded a free kick on the left touchline near the halfway line. Cotterill placed this into the Tranmere penalty area where the ball was knocked down and JONES slammed it into the net from close range. Tranmere tried to hit back and forced a corner but it was cleared easily. The two teams then proceeded to take turns at taking corners over the next ten minutes as both sides attacked, the Rovers to clinch the win and Tranmere to get something from the game. The last corner of all, in the 93rd minute, was cleared and the whistle blew for full time.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Jones 63) Tranmere Rovers 0
Teams – ROVERS – Gary Woods; Andy Griffin, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, Dean Furman, John Lundstram, James Coppinger; Kyle Bennett, Chris Brown
Subs used – Billy Paynter for Bennett 69 mins;
Subs not used – Paul Quinn, James Husband, Liam Wakefield, Iain Hume, Cameron Howieson, Neil Sullivan gk
Tranmere Rovers – Owain Fon Williams; Ash Taylor, Danny Holmes, Ben Gibson, Sean McGinty; Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Liam Palmer, Max Power, Zoumana Bakayogo; Andy Robinson ©, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
Subs used – Michael O’Halloran for McGinty 75 mins; Joe Thompson for Bell-Baggie 75 mins; Ian Goodison for Power 90 mins;
Subs not used – Danny Harrison, Cole Stockton, Michael Kay, Jason Mooney gk
Cautions – McGinty 53 mins; Taylor 63 mins;