A mad 15 minutes at the Keepmoat as Rovers dig deep to score two late goals and come from behind.Doncaster Rovers - 2 (Stewart 75' Williams 88’)
Gillingham - 2 (Donnelly 10’, 47')
Saturday 16th January, 2016
SkyBet League One
After battling right until the death with Premier League Stoke City in the FA Cup last weekend, it was back to league action for Darren Ferguson’s men.
Rovers had suffered just one loss in the last seven league matches and were going into the game against Gillingham looking for their third straight win.
Gillingham occupied second place in the league table having won four out of their last five.
Rovers started the game with a quick tempo wanting to get on the front foot from kick off. Just three minutes in Andy Williams broke brilliantly and carried the ball from inside his own half to the opposition box. Seeing James Coppinger free he tries to play him in but the ball was just too heavy.
After a bright start, the game went a little flat and Gillingham took the lead through Rory Donnelly. Ryan Jackson played a ball into the back post and an unmarked Donnelly was there to volley the ball past Thorsten Stuckmann.
The visitors almost doubled their lead as they broke. Bradley Dack started the move before finding himself with a free header in the area. With Stuckmann beaten Rovers escaped as his headed bounced back off the crossbar onto the goal line.
With no real chance for Rovers in the first half they went into the dressing room a goal down.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-1 Gillingham
The second half didn’t start well for Darren Ferguson’s side as they were caught off guard just two minutes in. A slip from Andy Butler allowed Dack to play a simple ball through to Donnelly who made no mistake in slotting it past Stuckmann for his second of the afternoon.
Cameron Stewart and Liam Mandeville were introduced to the game and both had a big impact on the performance.
Rovers started to pressure the Gills defence. Mandeville held up play well a number of times, allowing Williams to test Stuart Nelson. The Rovers number 11 was appealing for a penalty as he was bundled down in the box in an attempt to head at goal but the referee waved away all protests.
Dack almost made it three for the Gills as he found space on the edge of the area to shoot, but Stuckmann kept his shot out making a good save.
With 15 minutes to play Rovers won a free kick 20 yards out. Substitute Stewart walked up to the ball and beautifully placed it into the corner of the net giving Rovers some hope.
However, Stewart’s celebrations were short lived as he left the field on a stretcher after a nasty fall on his neck.
On 88 minutes the Keepmoat erupted as Andy Williams turned his defender and made a great run at goal. Beating the Gillingham man for pace, he opened his body and cooly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
With 9 minutes added time to play, the game was far from over. Stuart Nelson was called upon as Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s snap shot from 8 yards was heading for goal but Nelson somehow got a fingertip to the ball to deny the Rovers defender.
Cedric Evina went close with a powerful drive from 20 yards, before Williams snap shot inside the area grazed the cross bar. It was all Rovers in the final minutes but Gillingham held on and it was a point for both sides.
FULL TIME: Rovers 2-2 Gillingham
Rovers: Stuckmann, Alcock, Taylor-Sinclair, Butler (Stewart 48’) (Lund 86’), McCullough, Evina, Grant, Keegan,Coppinger, Main (Mandeville 48’), Williams
Unused Subs: Marosi, MacKenzie, Chaplow, Whitehouse
Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Garmston, Egan (c), Ehmer, Wright (McGlashan 72’), Hessenthaler (Loft 92’) Samuel, Morris, Donnelly, Dack
Unused Subs: Morris, Osadebe, Norris, Dickenson, List
Cautions: Samuel 72'