Bongani Khumalo scored an 89th minute winner as Rovers progressed into the second round of the Capital One Cup.
Attendance – 4,368 (438 visitors)
Referee – Mr Gary Sutton
DONCASTER ROVERS 1 ROCHDALE 0
Round st Capital One League Cup 1
A fine, cool evening welcomed our visitors from the other side of the Pennines, Rochdale for this 1st Round tie in the Capital One League Cup. The Rovers made one change from Saturday, Reece Wabara, newly signed on loan from Manchester City, with Paul Quinn dropping to the bench.
Rochdale made four changes to their side, Andrew Tutte, Bastien Hery, Matt Done and Jack O’Connell coming in for Michael Rose, Peter Cavanagh, George Donnelly, and Ian Henderson.
The Rovers got the game underway and went on to win three corners in the first six minutes. Then the visitors went on the attack and a rasping shot from 20yards by Hery was tipped round a post by the diving Turnbull.
The corner kick went to the far post where it was headed back to the middle where Hery beat Turnbull from around twelve yards but Furman was on the line to clear.
The Rovers were putting in some good work and a link-up by Wabara, Wellens and Coppinger ended with Wabara shooting from 25yards and getting a deflection for a corner. Cotterill put the corner kick to the middle where the onrushing Brown bulleted a header against the bar.
In the 17th minute, Wellens in the middle of the pitch fed Coppinger, who moved the ball on to Duffy and Cotterill for the latter to have a go from 20yards that went just past a post. Then Duffy went down the inside right channel to hit a low shot that a defender could only put out for a corner, which was well caught by Lillis.
The match now settled into a fairly even game, with both keepers being kept busy. Past the half hour and good work by Hery and Tutte for Rochdale led to the latter lifting the ball over the bar from the edge of the area whilst falling to the ground. The game continued at a fair pace and end to end before Vincenti and Tutte combined on the visiting right before the latter fired into the sidenetting from the side of the penalty area. The Rovers were still having a good slice of the game with some good football but couldn’t get a strike at goal. A free kick by Done for Rochdale in the 42nd minute was punched out by Turnbull to Lund, who shot high and wide from the edge of the area. Then Hogan had a close range shot well saved by Turnbull. A free kick by Cotterill for the Rovers, 25 yards out in a central position, went over the bar.
A good half of football was brought to a close after two minutes of added time.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Rochdale 0
The Rovers were soon on the attack and a good move involving several players switched play from right to left before finding Coppinger in space to the left of goal about 15yards out. A terrific left foot drive had Lillis arching his back to tip over the bar. Minutes later and Hogan, for Rochdale, put over the bar from the edge of the penalty area. Then, Done tried to chip over Turnbull from 25yards but the keeper easily caught it.
In the 52nd minute, Wabara, for the Rovers, crossed from the right past the far post for Brown to head back to the middle but Lillis made the catch. Two minutes on and a great move by duffy, Coppinger and Wellens gave Brown a shot from inside the area but Lillis got a hand to it and pushed it away. The 57th minute brought a quickly taken free kick by Cotterill that put Coppinger away down the left before cutting in and hitting a cracking shot that Lillis brilliantly tipped over the bar.
Immediately Coppinger again had the Rochdale goal in his sights but his thunderous drive from 15yards brought the same reaction as previously from Lillis to result in another corner. Past the hour and a Rochdale corner was played fairly short for Henderson to clip over the bar. Then Rafferty fired over the bar from distance. It was a good spell for Rochdale, who forced three corners in a matter of minutes but got no reward.
Then, in the 89th minute, the Rovers were awarded a free kick on their left halfway in the Rochdale half. Cotterill placed the ball into the middle where KHUMALO got his head to it and put the ball into the net. Three minutes of added time and Rochdale came back at the Rovers. A free kick was punched away by Turnbull but only to a Rochdale player 25yards yards. He headed back for the open goal but Turnbull punched out for a corner. This came to nothing but another corner brought a touch at the far post that was just the wrong side of the post.
In the last minute Cotterill had a go from 25yards but Lillis could only push it away. Paynter got to the loose ball but could only win the corner. The final whistle sounded on a very entertaining football match, played in a good spirit and good football from both sides.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Khumalo 89) Rochdale 0
Teams – ROVERS – Ross Turnbull; Reece Wabara, Bongani Khumalo, Rob Jones ©, James Husband; Mark Duffy, Richie Wellens, Dean Furman, David Cotterill; James Coppinger; Chris Brown
Subs used - David Syers for Duffy 63 mins; Paul Quinn for Wabara 71 mins; Billy Paynter for Brown 86 mins;
Subs not used – Luke McCulloch, Paul Keegan, Kyle Bennett, Jon Maxted gk
Rochdale – Jamie Allen, Michael Rose, Joel Logan, Joe Bunney, Robbie Thomson gkSubs not used - Ian Henderson for Hery 60 mins; George Donnelly for Hogan 63 mins; Subs used
– Josh Lillis; Joe Rafferty, Andrew Tutte, Matty Lund, Ashley Eastham, Olly Lancashire ©, Scott Hogan, Bastien Hery, Matt Done, Peter Vincenti, Jack O’Connell