Doncaster Rovers - 1 (Stewart 25’)
Saturday 26th September, 2015
Bramall lane, Sheffield
SkyBet League One
It was a scrappy start at a packed out Bramall Lane in this local derby, with neither side able to keep hold of the ball for any length of time.
Keshi Anderson made a bright start on his debut for the Rovers and caused the United defence problems just a few minutes in. Taking on three defenders he was able to get an early shot at goal, but it was well blocked by the defender.
The home side grew into the game and gradually started to enjoy more possession. Ryan Flynn was almost put through one on one but a perfectly timed sliding tackle from Andy Butler denied him breaking through and getting his shot away.
Minutes later Nigel Adkins side took the lead through captain Chris Basham. Craig Alcock delivered a fierce ball into the box and hitting the ball on the volley, Basham was there to smash it home, a great finish.
The visitors responded well however and both Andy Williams and Anderson had chances blocked in quick succession.
Rovers did enjoy a spell of enjoy possession which frustrated the home side, and good work from Cedric Evina then won them a free kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out.
With Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Cameron Stewart standing over the ball, it was Stewart who stepped up. His curling free kick went over the wall and beat Mark Howard in the United goal to make the score 1-1.
Conor Sammon should have put the home side in front as he found space to shoot driving forwards, looking to slide the ball into the bottom corner from a tight angle his shot was inches wide.
However on the next attack he made no mistake in scoring. With Paul Coutts crossing the ball in from the right Sammon was there to side foot it in from point blank range, giving the home side the lead.
Shortly before half time things went from bad to worse for Rovers as Gary MacKenzie was shown a red card for a high foot on Craig Alcock, in what looked to be a fifty-fifty challenge in the United area.
HALF TIME: Blades 2-1 Rovers
Sheffield United came out in the second half and could have had two goals in a minute, both chances coming from Sammon again. Driving towards goal the forward hit a curling effort from distance which Stuckmann could only stand and watch, however it cannoned back off the post.
Less than a minute later it was Sammon again who was denied by James Coppinger as he cleared his header off the line.
The Blades had a penalty appeal turned down when substitute Che Adams broke into the box and looked to be bought down by the trailing leg of Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. However the referee said no and showed the United man a yellow card for diving.
Rob Jones introduced Richard Chaplow, Harry Forrester and Oscar Gobern to the game hoping they would have an impact but with United having a one man advantage Rovers struggled to cause a threat.
Thorsten Stuckmann was called into action late on who, despite conceding two goals so far, had very little to do all afternoon. With former Rover Billy Sharp getting on the end of a long ball in the box, he was able to shoot and fire at goal forcing Stuckmann to make a great save.
With just over ten minutes to play the home side put the game to bed and it was Sharp who made it 3-1. James Coppinger’s poor back pass forced Stuckmann quickly off his line but Sharp was there first to intercept, before rounding the keeper and tapping in from close range.
Moments later Sharp almost had a second when he cut inside from the left again firing a low shot at goal, but Stuckmann made another excellent save.
With Rovers struggling to get hold of the ball the referee finally blew for full time and the game ended 3-1.
United: Howard, Basham (c), Flynn, Coutts (Adams 61’), Sharp, Baxter (Reed 55’), Collins, Sammon, Alcock (Freeman 45’), Wallace, Edgar
Unused Subs: McNulty, Woolford, Long, McGahey
Rovers: Stuckmann, Coppinger (c), Butler MacKenzie, Taylor-Sinclair, Stewart (Forrester 55’), Wellens (Gobern 71’), Keegan (Chaplow 45’), Evina, Anderson, Williams
Unused Subs: Marosi, Mandeville, P.McKay, N'Guessan
Cautions: Gary MacKenzie - RED CARD - 37'
Attendance: 20,869 (1,390)