Rovers retain top spot after an entertaining victory over AFC Bournemouth
Saturday, 9th March 2013 at the Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth
Npower League 1
AFC Bournemouth 1 DONCASTER ROVERS 2
Referee – Mr F Graham
Attendance – 7,178 (569 visitors)
A fine, sunny spring afternoon at the seaside should bring out the best in the Rovers in a crunch match at Bournemouth, who admittedly have slipped to the fringe of the play-offs positions. The Rovers have called Neil Sullivan back from his season-long loan at Wimbledon because Gary Woods has a leg injury. Surprisingly, Rob Jones appeared on the team sheet and on the pitch. Billy Paynter started in place of James Harper and Chris Brown returned from injury to replace Iain Hume, who dropped to the bench. The home team made three changes following their loss at Leyton Orient, with Ryan Allsop, Shaun MacDonald and Brett Pitman replacing Shwan Jalal, Wes Fogden and Richard Hughes, who all drop to the bench. The Rovers defended the South end (no stand) in the first half.
The Rovers kicked off and and attacked but were repulsed. In the sixth minute, a cross from the home left by Ritchie was met with a good header by Pitman but Sullivan palmed it away for a corner. This was placed to the far post where Cook headed against the post and the ball was eventually cleared. At the other end Brown and Paynter combined to give the former a crack at goal from the edge of the penalty area, which Allsop beat away. Minutes later and Brown won a corner that was cleared back to Cotterill on the touchline. He sent in a fine shot for the far top corner that Allsop parried away. At the Rovers end, following a corner kick, Cook crossed from the left but Pitman’s header was easily saved by Sullivan, who followed this by saving well from a twenty-five yarder. Paynter, on the Rovers right, then fired high and wide with a left footed effort. In the 22nd minute a good shot from Pitman from 30yards was tipped round a post by Sullivan, with Pitman blasting an effort high and wide from the resulting corner. Grabban had a shot blocked and Pugh put wide from 25yards. A corner on the half hour for the home team came to nothing but minutes later a cross from Pugh on the home left brought a good header from Grabban but Sullivan was well positioned to catch the ball. In the 35th minute a free kick from Cotterill on the Rovers right, was headed over the bar by Jones. As time ran down to the break a corner to the home team was cleared and a good move upfield by the Rovers led to Lundstram having a go from 35yards but he put wide.
Half Time – AFC Bournemouth 0 Doncaster Rovers 0
A mist had descended on the Stadium in the first half but whilst it didn’t affect the play it was still there in the second half. Two minutes in and Bournemouth were awarded a free kick just outside the D. Pitman took it but shot wide. The Rovers then moved upfield with a good move to give Cotterill a shot from 30 yards that Allsop saved. A corner to the home team was played out to Ritchie just outside the penalty area but he fired wide. The Rovers then moved down their left where Husband hit a low cross to the near post where Brown stabbed out for a goalkick. Cotterill then had a good run down the Rovers right but his shot from the edge of the area was deflected for a corner. Past the hour and a period of sustained pressure by the Rovers ended with a Coppinger shot blocked and cleared. In the 66th minute, Pugh from the Bournemouth left had a shot blocked and Ritchie then hit a low shot to the near post where Jones and Sullivan managed to save it on the line. The ball went straight to the other end for Cotterill to cross low to the near post for PAYNTER to steer inside the post for the opening goal in the 67th minute. Grabban, for Bournemouth, was played through on goal but Sullivan narrowed the angle and as the Bournemouth man slipped the ball past him he tipped it round the post for a corner. The home team tried hard to hit back but the Rovers defence, who had been magnificent throughout, gave nothing away until the 87th minute when a poor header back to Sullivan fell short and TUBBS lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to equalise. Nothing daunted the Rovers moved downfield on their left and HUSBAND, at the second attempt, rifled in from an oblique angle in the 88th minute. The home team pushed for another equaliser but the Rovers motto was ‘what we have we hold’ and after four minutes of added time the whistle went on a terrific win for the Rovers.
Result – AFC Bournemouth 1 Doncaster Rovers 2
Teams – Bournemouth – Ryan Allsop; Simon Francis, Steve Cook ©, Danny Seaborne, Matt Ritchie; Josh McQuoid, Eunan O’Kane, Shaun MacDonald, Marc Pugh; Lewis Grabban, Brett Pitman
Subs used – Ryan Fraser for McQuoid 72 mins; Matt Tubbs for Grabban 78 mins; Steve Fletcher for MacDonald 78 mins.
Subs not used – Joe Partington, Wes Fogden, Richard Hughes, Shwan Jalal gk
Caution – Eunan 74 mins;
Doncaster Rovers – Neil Sullivan; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, James Coppinger, John Lundstram, James Husband; Billy Paynter, Chris Brown
Subs used – Iain Hume for Brown 89 mins; Kyle Bennett for Paynter 90+3 mins;
Subs not used – Liam Wakefield, Emile Sinclair, Andy Griffin, Cameron Howieson, Jon Maxted
Cautions – Coppinger 53 mins; Husband 76 mins;