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Rovers 3 Northampton Town 0

26 December 2017

Doncaster Rovers earned back-to-back victories in Sky Bet League One for the first time this season as they ran out comfortable winners against Northampton Town.

Goals from James Coppinger, Niall Mason and Andy Butler ensured that the festive cheer would continue in Doncaster as Rovers won 3-0 on Boxing Day.

The game started in a similar fashion to the reverse fixture back in September, with the Cobblers immediately going on the attack.

Shaun McWilliams was first to try his luck from distance inside the game’s opening 20 seconds, but his shot went just over Ian Lawlor’s crossbar.

Rovers weren’t to be out done though, and they went close just a couple minutes later.

Coppinger’s free-kick from the right was met by Butler, however the defender headed just over, before play was brought back for offside against the centre back.

Mason then looked to build on his first career goal at the weekend, as his cut inside from the right, but his effort went wide of Matt Ingram’s near post.

Rovers were creating a lot of the game’s early chances, and Ben Whiteman’s effort from 30 yards out almost lifted the Rovers’ faithful off their seats.

The midfielder’s shot was struck well, but the ball couldn’t dip in time as his strike fizzed just over the bar.
Tommy Rowe was next to go close as he cut inside a curled a shot aimed at Ingram’s far post, but the Town keeper got down well to tip the ball behind for a corner.

Rovers wouldn’t have to wait long for the opening goal to come, and it was due to some great work down the left from Rowe that saw the home side take the lead.

Rowe’s persistence down the left flank saw him work his way into the box and square the ball for John Marquis.

Marquis’ shot was parried by Ingram but only as far as captain Coppinger, who slotted home at the second attempt.

Ten minutes later it was two, with Lawlor playing a huge part in the lead being extended.

The Irishman’s superb stop from McWilliams enabled Rovers to break, and Marquis was brought down in the area.

Mason picked up from where he left off on Saturday to keep his calm and place his spot-kick beyond Ingram to double the lead going into the break.

After the interval, Rovers came out back on the attack, with Coppinger’s strike with the ball bouncing drifting just wide of the post.

Alfie May and Marquis then had two great chances in a matter of seconds, with the strike duo both being denied by Ingram in the Cobblers’ goal, with Marquis’ shot being palmed behind for a corner.

From this corner however, Rovers wouldn’t be denied, as they extended their lead with the game ticking towards the final 20 minutes.

Coppinger’s corner was met by Mathieu Baudry, and whilst he was denied by Grimes on the line, Butler was there to scramble the ball home and all but seal three points.

May tried his best to add a fourth, as he cut inside on the edge of the six-yard box, but his shot squirmed under Ingram and onto the post to deny him a goal.

Matty Blair cut the ball back for Coppinger to strike, but his effort was straight at Ingram late on, before Marquis saw his shot also blocked by the Cobblers’ stopper.

It was a fine way for Rovers to record their first back-to-back victories of the season, and they now face Rochdale on Friday night at the Keepmoat Stadium as they look to extend their current winning run.

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