Stevenage 1-2 Rovers
Saturday, 12 January 2013 at the Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way, Stevenage npower League 1
Doncaster Rovers 2
Referee – Mr Chris Sarginson
Attendance – 3,280 (798 visitors)
There was a freezing wind on a dull but dry afternoon at Stevenage. The Rovers made one change to their starting line-up, Chris Brown replacing Emile Sinclair, who dropped to the bench. The home team also made one change from the team that won at Crewe Alexandra last Saturday, Steve Beleck coming in for Filipe Morais, who was on the bench.
The opening minutes were evenly contested as each side sought a weakness. Then, in the 6th minute the home team won a corner, which led to a header and then a shot being blocked before the Rovers defence cleared and set their own attack up. Shots from Cotterill and Syers were blocked and then cleared. Two minutes later, Gray for the home team crossed from the right for Haber to head wide at the far post. The match settled into a midfield battle over the next fifteen minutes before good work by Hume to create space gave him a shot from 20yards that Arnold blocked with his body as he came out and eventually cleared. Then a corner to the Rovers was punched away by Arnold off Jones’ head. On the half hour, Tansey took a corner, played a 1-2 with Grant before crossing to the near post where Dunne stabbed the ball wide under challenge. Minutes later and a Stevenage attack saw Beleck and Dunne have shots blocked and then Haber shoot well wide from 25 yards on the left. In the 40th minute, Cotterill, on the Rovers left, dribbled his way past three defenders before trying a low shot from 25yards that Arnold saved comfortably. As time ran down Grant had a long run out of the home defence and halfway into the Rovers half before passing but the attack then petered out. It had been a hard fought half, with Stevenage possibly shading possession but there had been few scoring opportunities.
Half Time – Stevenage 0 Doncaster Rovers 0
The second half opened with the Rovers on the attack leading to them winning a corner, which Arnold caught well. Then, minutes later, they were awarded a free kick on their left touchline halfway in the Stevenage half. Cotterill placed it into the six-yard box where Arnold punched it away before Brown got to it. Continuing to attack, Hume was played in on goal down the inside left position but his low left footed shot was pushed away when the keeper stuck a long leg out and a teammate cleared. Then as the hour mark came up the home team got into the game when Tansey blazed high and wide from 25yards. They had a good spell that brought its reward in the 66th minute when DUNNE rifled in from 30yards. Gathering themselves together the Rovers hit back in the 72nd minute when Syers headed a corner wide at the near post whilst under challenge. Continuing to attack, a cross from Hume on the right was headed wide by McCombe and in the 79th minute Syers was in on goal, Arnold blocked his effort with the ball going to HUME, who rifled low through a forest of legs from 15yards into the net. Back came Stevenage to win a couple of corners, the second of which Akins put well wide. As time ran down both sides went for a winner as play swung one way and then the other. As added time of 5 minutes came up the Rovers were in the ascendency, with Spurr crossing from the left and Syers, at the far post, two yards out, getting a high foot to it and sending the ball back to Spurr. Then, in the fourth minute of added time, a corner from Cotterill cleared the keeper for JONES to meet it at the far post and head in. The whistle finally went on a famous win, with another very late goal after a pulsating second half.
Result – Stevenage 1 (Dunne 66 mins) Doncaster Rovers 2 (Hume 79 mins, Jones 90+4mins)
Teams – Stevenage – Steve Arnold; David Gray, Darius Charles, Mark Roberts (c), Miguel Commingues; Anthony Grant, James Dunne, Greg Tansey; Steve Leo Beleck, Marcus Haber, Lucas Akins
Subs used – Sam Hoskins for Beleck 67 mins; Filipe Morais for Tansey 82 mins; Bondz N’Gala for Commingues 84 mins;
Subs not used – Lee Hills, Luke Freeman, Matt Ball, Chris Day gk
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, Paul Keegan, David Syers, Kyle Bennett; Iain Hume, Chris Brown
Subs used – James Harper for Keegan 55 mins; James Coppinger for Bennett 67 mins;
Subs not used – Shelton Martis, Robbie Blake, Emile Sinclair, Andy Griffin, , Jon Maxted gk
Cautions – Brown, 50 mins; Syers 61 mins;