Carlisle United 2
(Adams 34, Mason og 84)
Doncaster Rovers 1
Tuesday, February 14
Sky Bet League Two
Rovers were beaten 2-1 at Carlisle United.
Darren Ferguson brought captain James Coppinger back into the side, with Joe Wright dropping out to make way. A late cha ge, however, saw Butler make way after the warm up and Wright return to the starting XI in the centre of a back three.
Both sides looked to get on the front foot, with James Coppinger pulling a third-minute shot wide in Rovers' first chance.
Rovers' second opportunity came after nine minutes when John Marquis collected a kncokdown from Andy Williams, but the No.9 powered his shot into the stands.
Home captain Michael Raynes had to be alert to deny Marquis after 15 minutes, after the forward had broken free in the area.
It was not all one-way traffic, with Marquis getting a vital header to a free-kick which was played into the area after Matty Blair was penalised.
Marquis was really in the thick of the action, with the ball nicked off him after Blair fed him, then firing over after again breaking free.
Rovers had a great opportunity on the half-hour mark when Tommy Rowe was pulled back - he got away but referee Tony Hsrrington brought play back.
Conor Grant's delivery found Alcock, but his header came off Marquis and went safely behind.
Rovers fell behind 10 minutes from the break. John O'Sullivan's cross from the wide found Nicky Adams, and the midfielder fired home a sweet volley.
Carlisle had chances to get a second, with Ian Lawlor getting down well to save from Jamie Proctor at his near post before a scramble from the resulting corner which saw Rovers hack the ball off the line.
Grant created a great opportunity for a leveller after 42 minutes when he force his way into the area from the left and fired the ball across goal - but there was no one waiting for Rovers.
HALF-TIME | Carlisle 1 Rovers 0
There were no changes from either side at the break, Rovers had some early success down the wings, with Rowe and Blair getting crosses in which were just intercepted.
Lawlor had to be alert toc law away a Shaun Brisley header after 52 minutes, then moments later watched on as Adams fired wide after his punch from a corner.
A foul on Coppinger provided an opporunity for Rovers after 56 minutes, but Grant's delivery was headed away by Macauly Gillesphey moments after he had been booked as players clashed following
John O'Sullivan cut in from the right for the home side before trying a curled shot which went away from goal.
Blair and Coppinger again worked up space down the right, with the latter's cross too deep for Rowe and Williams. Moments later Rowe and Grant had the same effect down the left, but the latter's cross was too close to Gillespie in the home goal.
Rovers brought on Alfie May for WIlliams as manager Ferguson looked to freshen things up,
The next big chance fell to Carlisle, though, with Raynes afforded way too much space for a header - whch powered over the bar.
May created a great chance for Grant as he surged into the area before feeding the on-loan Everton man, but the midfielder could not control the ball to get a shot away.
The match was sealed after 85 minuets when substitute Jabo Ibehre found space on the left. His shot came off Niall Mason to go in.
Rovers did not give up, with May and Rowe both going close.
They did pull one back in stoppage time, when Rowe stooped to head home at the near post.
They also had chances to snatch a point, with Rowe again finding himself in space after a cross from the right and Grant firing a shot straight at Gillespie.
FULL-TIME | Carlisle 2 Rovers 1
ROVERS | Lawlor, Alcock, Wright, Mason, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Grant, Coppinger (c)Williams (May), Marquis. ROVERS SUBS | Etheridge, Evina, Middleton, Keegan, McSheffrey. BOOKED | Lawlor.
CARLISLE XI | Gillespie, Joyce, Raynes (c), Jones, Proctor, Adams (Bailey), Gillesphey, Brisley, O'Sullivan (Devitt), Lambe, Liddle. CARLISLE SUBS | Bacon, Ibehre, S. Miller, T.Miller, Waring. BOOKED | Gillesphey.
ATTENDANCE | 4,527 (400 away)