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Match Reports

Match Report : 24/09/2016

24 September 2016


James Coppinger's early strike proved in vain as Rovers were undone at Luton Town.

Luton Town 3
(McGeehan 36, 81pen, Marriott 41)
Doncaster Rovers 1
(Coppinger 21)
Saturday September 24
Kenilworth Road, Luton
Sky Bet League Two

James Coppinger's early strike proved in vain as Rovers were undone at Luton Town.

The Rovers captain smashed home the opening strike after 21 minutes at Kenilworth Road, but the home side hit back to take all three points.

Frazer Richardson returned to the starting line-up, with Matty Blair moving back to midfield and Harry Middleton dropping to the bench.

Rovers won the coin toss and turned the home side around, in an attempt to disrupt the Hatters who are renowned for their fast starts.

And it worked, with Rovers  fashioning three early chances. The first came inside the opening 90 seconds when a deep cross from Richardson found John Marquis at the far post but his header was wide.

Moments later and a n attempted home clearance was blocked. Andy Williams' snap header clipped the top of the bar and went over.

Not even five minutes had passed and Marquis did had have the ball in the back of the net, though the assistant's flag was raised to rule it out for offside. Again the chance came from Rovers closing down attempted clearances.

The tempo of the start did slow down, but Rovers were creating the better chances and took the lead after 21 minutes.

A scramble in the area saw efforts from Marwuis and Coppinger blocked, before the ball broke back to the latter who rifled an unstoppable effort past Christian Walton.

The goal had a futher impact for the home side, with defender Scott Cuthbert suffering a serious-loooking injury in the scramble. There was a delay of about eight minutes as medics treated him on the pitch before carrying him off on a stretcher - with Rovers' travelling support joining the home fans in applauding him off the pitch.

The pause in the game did not interupt Rovers, who created a great opportunity quickly after play resumed. Coppinger set Williams away down the left, he tried to play in Marquis but Olly Lee nipped in just ahead of the Rovers' No.9.

Luton turned the match around, through, with two quickfire goals as they enjoyed their first real period of possession.

The leveller came when Lee was allowed the space to whip the ball across the area. His dangerous deliver bypassed the entire Rovers defence and allowed Cameron McGeehan to storm in at the far post to tuen the ball home.

Five minutes later and the home side were ahead. Danny Hylton flicked the ball on for Jack Marriot, who slotted it cooly past the onrushing Marko Marosi

HALF-TIME: Luton 2 Rovers 1

Both sides lined up for the second period as they had finished the first.

Luton had the first chance, after 52 minutes, as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's effort took a wicked defletion and threatened to loop in just under the crossbar. Marosi was focused and collected the ball from just under the bar.

McGeehan almost got his second of the match when his run took him into the area, only to see his effort blocked by a gaggle of Rovers players.

Rovers were handed their first opportunity of the second period after 58 minutes when Sheehan hauled down Williams. Tommy Rowe's free-kick comfortably cleared the wall, but Christian Walton was over quickly to calmly collect the ball.

Luton were enjoying plenty of possession, with Marriott scuffing a shot into the area when allowed too much space to get his shot away. Joe Wright also needed to get in a vital block after a free-kick into the area caused danger.

Darren Ferguson made a double change just after the hour mark as he sought to get back into the game.

Riccardo Calder and Mathieu Baudry came off the bench, with Richardson and Evina going off. Rovers switched to a 3-5-2 formation.

That brought Rovers much of the ball, but they still found it hard to break down a resolute Hatters defence.

Harry Middleton came off the bench, replacing Tommy Rowe, as Rovers pushed, but they were undone with 10 minutes to go.

Sheehan had threatened with a free-kick from the edge of the area, which Marosi palmed away, before the home side were awarded a spot-kick.

Wright was the man penalised, with McGeehan leaing Marosi with no chance as he smashed the ball high down the middle.

Rovers struggled to then get back into the game, with a near-post effort from Blair which was well blocked their best chance.

There was still time for some unexpected late drama, with Luton reduced to 10 men when Danny Hylon sent off after being shown his second yellow card of the match -after throwing something towards an assistant.

Marquis had Rovers' final chance as he fired in an effort deep into stoppage-time, which Walton scrambled away with his legs.

FULL-TIME: Luton 3 Rovers 1

ROVERS | Marosi, Richardson (Baudry), Evina (Calder), Butler, Wright, Blair, Houghton, Rowe (Middleton), Coppinger, Marquis, Williams.  ROVERS SUBS | Etheridge,  Mandeville, Beestin, Garratt. BOOKED | Evina, Wright.
LUTON XI | Walton, Potts, Mullins, Cuthbert (Sheehan), McGeehan (Gillead), Hylton, Cook (Gray), Marriott, Ruddock-Mpanzu, Lee, Justin. LUTON SUBS | O'Donnell, Smith, Vassell, King. BOOKED | Hylton, Potts. SENT OFF |Hylton.

ATTENDANCE | 7,917 (554 away).

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