Front man rescues three points from this game in 2004.
Today sees part two of five of our look back at Doncaster Rovers’ examples of battling qualities when all looked lost, as we count down to our crunch fixture with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday looking to preserve our Championship status.
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21st February 2004
Nationwide Division 3
Field Mill, Mansfield
Mansfield Town 1 (Lawrence pen 15)
Doncaster Rovers 2 (Blundell 60, 67)
A pivotal moment in the Division 3 promotion race came in north Nottinghamshire when Rovers dug deep to see off Keith Curle’s men.
Local lad Liam Lawrence broke the deadlock for Town within the opening quarter of an hour, squeezing his penalty under the body of Rovers’ ‘keeper Andy Warrington.
Lawrence had also opened the scoring for the Stags when the sides had met earlier in the season at Belle Vue in Rovers’ 4-2 win, but the challenge for Dave Penney’s men of overhauling the deficit this time, seemed greater.
With Rovers’ front man Leo Fortune-West winning his battle against the two Town centre backs against a backdrop of 1800 or so travelling fans, the game sprang in to life on the hour mark when eighteen-goal forward Gregg Blundell played a neat one-two with JJ Melligan before racing clear and composing himself to slot past Kevin Pilkington.
The ‘never-say-die’ attitude from Penney’s men, which had been in evidence just two weeks prior, when Rovers had snatched a draw in the space of seven minutes against Scunthorpe despite being two goals and a man down, was back in full swing once again.
The belief and character shown by the so-called pub team, spurred Rovers on and just seven minutes after Blundell’s equaliser, the Scouser was at it again.
A right wing cross from Melligan was nodded down by Fortune-West and in to the path of Blundell, who escaped the clutches of the scrambling defenders to latch on to the loose ball, swivel and then hook his left foot around the ball and through the legs of the ‘keeper for 2-1.
Pandemonium ensued in the away end; celebrations were wild and delirious, but it was something the Rovers faithful would be accustomed to come the end of the season when they sealed promotion at home to Cambridge United and topped it off with the Division 3 title in the penultimate game of the season at Boston United.