Rovers captain rifled home second half equaliser to earn a point on the road.
Crewe Alexandra - 1 Doncaster Rovers – 1
The Alexandra Stadium (Gresty Road), Crewe.
Saturday 29th Novemeber 2014
Sky Bet League One
Paul Dickov named an unchanged team for the first time this season looking to make it back to back wins in Sky Bet league 1. Steve Davis’ Crewe Alexandra - without a win in 5 league games - were the hosts.
Rovers got the game underway and carved out a couple of half chances, an early header by Tyson goes past the post and Curtis Main links up well with Keegan, his shot with the outside of his right foot goes over the bar.
Rovers had the best of the possession in the opening 10 minutes and on the 9th Coppinger shoots towards the top corner but Garratt produces a great save to deny the Rovers captain. The resulting corner delivered deep, found Tyson unmarked choosing to hit it first time meant he blasted it over the bar.
The next twenty five minutes was played at a cruising pace without a notable chance, until on the 29th minute the ball found its way to IKPEAZU 15 yards out whose low shot took a deflection past Johnstone to give Crewe the lead.
The referee produces the first yellow card of the game on 36 minutes after Butler mistimed a tackle on half way, the resulting free kick allowed Ajose to take the ball down with a clear shot on goal but put it wide of the post.
Rovers looked to make thing level but Garratt’s goal remained unthreatened despite having a healthy amount of possession going into the break.
Half Time – Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first until a corner on 51 minutes falls to Keegan on the edge of the area who’s low strike took a deflection off Coppinger, also taking the pace off the shot for it then to be easily smothered by Garratt.
The sluggish pace continued and 8 minutes later Rovers invited Nicky Ajose to shoot from 30 yards but from that distance struggled to keep his shot down, constantly rising over Johnstone’s crossbar.
On 62 minutes, Ikpeazu manages to turn Andy Butler high up the pitch, running 35 yards with the ball before shooting at a comfortable height for Johnstone to make the save.
Rovers continued to plug away in search of an equaliser but often dispossessed until Curtis Main on the turn, 22 yards out struggled to keep his shot down, firing high over the bar.
77 minutes Rovers substitute Forrester finds space 25 yards out, not closed down by the Alex defence hits a dipping shot, he watches his effort go agonisingly over Garratt’s crossbar.
A corner to the visitors with eleven minutes left, delivered by Forrester found McCullough who headed it goalwards for James Coppinger to smash it home from inside the six yard area to make it all level.
With 7 minutes added time Forrester shoots from 22 yards again with a dipping effort, this time deflects for a Rovers corner, allowing Rovers to apply late pressure seeking a winning goal.
Despite several dangerous crosses and plenty of stoppage time possession the visitors had to settle for a point that for a long period of the game didn’t look like it was coming. Rovers captain rifled home the second half equaliser to earn a fair point.
Full-Time – Crewe Alexandra (Ikpeazu 29) 1– 1 Rovers (Coppinger 79)
Rovers: Johnstone, Wabara, Butler, McCullough, Stevens, Coppinger © Wellens, Keegan (Furman 73), Bennett (Forrester 64), Tyson (Robinson 58), Main
Subs not used – Marosi, McCombe , Wakefield, De Val
Cautions – Butler (36)
Crewe: Garratt, Davis, Ray, Dugdale ©, Turton, Baillie, Leigh (Guthrie 72), Ness, Ikpeazu (Haber 72), Ajose (Inman 90+2), Grant.
Subs not used – Shearer, Atkinson, Inman, Cooper, Tate.
Cautions – Ness (66)
Attendance – 4,530 (497 away).