Rovers 2 (Bennett 17’, 59')
Tuesday 7th April
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Sky Bet League One
Rovers were looking to salvage some pride after their 3-0 defeat to Bradford at home on Friday night. Paul Dickov made three changes to the side bringing in Jamie McCombe, Kyle Bennett and Nathan Tyson.
It was a fairly even start to the game as both sides enjoyed spells of possession.
Curtis Main tested Mark Howard early on, Kyle Bennett delivered a great ball to the back post and Main got up to head the ball forcing a smart save from the Blades keeper.
Matt Done caused a few problems down the left but Reece Wabara did a good job keeping him at bay in the early stages. Despite enjoying the majority of possession, the Rovers back line looked solid and were un-phased by United’s advances.
Against the run of play, the visitors went ahead through Kyle Bennett. James Coppinger made a brilliant run from through the middle before finding Bennett free on the left. The Rovers winger cut inside before brilliantly curling his shot into the top corner.
The lead lasted ten minutes as the home side were awarded a penalty for a McCombe foul on Done.
Jose Baxter stepped up to take the spot kick and confidently smashed the ball into the top corner to level things up.
The game opened up as chances came for both sides, however they went in level at the break.
HALF TIME: Blades 1-1 Rovers
Rovers came close to going ahead early in the second half. A lovely ball in from Coppinger found Butler at the back post. Despite there being a real scramble in the area, United escaped and cleared their lines.
It was all Rovers again, this time Coppinger had the away fans up on their feet as his first time shot from 20 yards looked to be heading in, before hitting the roof of the net.
Minutes later Tyson used his pace to break down the left before his cross was met by Coppinger again, but the Rovers captain could only watch as his first time flick came back off the crossbar.
Despite Rovers dominance, the home side went ahead through Done. A good ball in from Davies appeared to hit the striker on the knee before going in off the post.
However, five minutes later Rovers were level through Bennett again. Picking up the ball 30 yards from goal and seeing nothing on, he fired an absolute rocket towards goal leaving Howard with no chance what so ever. It was all to play for at Bramall Lane!
You had a feeling there were more goals in the game and it was the home side who struck with another great goal. Picking up the ball in the area, Davies cut inside before firing into the bottom right hand corner past Stephen Bywater.
Paul Dickov introduced fresh legs to the game by bringing on Jonson Clarke-Harris and Harry Forrester. Forrester almost made an instant impact as he drove a dangerous ball across goal. Failing to clear the ball fell to Richie Wellens whose shot was headed off the line by John Brayford.
Rovers were really having a go.
With minutes to go, there were huge appeals for handball from everyone supporting Doncaster. An Enda Stevens cross appeared to strike the arm of the defender, however the referee gave nothing and there were sighs of relief all round from the home fans.
The away side had one last chance in the third minute of added time as Bennett found an unmarked Butler at the back post but his header back across goal couldn’t be turned home by a Rovers player.
The referee blew for full time on a thrilling South Yorkshire derby, one that Rovers deserved something from.
Team Lineups -
Blades: Howard, Harris (McEveley 27’), Brayford (c), Basham, Flynn (Alcock 76’), Baxter (Doyle 64’), Done, Coutts, Freeman, Davies, Holt
Unused Subs: McNulty, Reed, Turner, Adams
Rovers: Bywater, Wabara, McCombe, Butler, Stevens, Wellens, Furman, Bennett, Coppinger (c) (Forrester 81’), Tyson (Clarke-Harris 76’), Main
Unused Subs: Marosi, Evina, Jones, Mandeville, Razak
Cautions: Wellens 45’
Attendance: 20, 487