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Rovers 3 Crewe 1

21 January 2017

Rovers strengthened their position at the top of Sky Bet League Two with victory over Crewe Alexandra.

Doncaster Rovers  3 
(Grant 22, Marquis 56, Rowe 66)
Crewe Alexandra  1 
(Jones 33)

Saturday January 21, 2017
Keepmoat Stadium 
Sky Bet League Two

Rovers strengthened their position at the top of Sky Bet League Two with victory over Crewe Alexandra. 

Conor Grant opened the scoring with his first goal since returning to the club on loan, before James Jones drew the visitors level at the break. 

Rovers were not deterred, though, with John Marquis and Tommy Rowe sealing the 3-1 victory and all three points.

Rovers started well, creating problems for the Alex defence inside the first 10 minutes. 

A through ball from John Marquis was picked up by James Coppinger on the wing, the club legend, who recently turned 36, showed a clean pair of heels to the chasing John Guthrie before trying to squeeze his left-footed effort into a  bottom corner. 

Unfortunately for the home side, full-back Oliver Turton had retreated to clear the ball off the goal line and away from any immediate danger. 

Doncaster were awarded a free-kick after  19 minutes when Andy Williams was chopped down 20-yards out. 

Up stepped Coppinger whose right-footed effort looked destined to find the top-left corner of Ben Garratt’s goal, but the keeper was there to pull off a spectacular save to keep the score level. 

Darren Ferguson’s side’s pressure paid off moments later as Everton loanee Conor Grant thumped Rovers into the lead. 

Some good work from Tommy Rowe saw the ball fall to Grant 18-yards out, and he lashed his right-footed effort into the bottom-left of Garratt’s goal. 

It was full steam ahead for Rovers as they nearly doubled their lead after 25  minutes, some superb footwork from Matty Blair saw him nutmeg Zoumana Bakayogo before sending a teasing ball across Crewe’s six-yard box. 

Williams was at the back post to send the ball goalwards, but there was Garratt once again to produce a fantastic save to keep the Railwaymen in this game. 

The visitors drew level after 33 minutes when a cross from Alexandra’s left found Dagnall in the box who forced a superb flying save from Rovers goalkeeper Ian Lawlor, but James Jones was on hand to fire home the rebound. 

A minute later it was Rovers again who had the chance to regain their lead, an inswinging cross from Niall Mason picked out the advancing Williams but the former Swindon Town front man could not get his header on target. 

Crewe could have taken the lead with three minutes left of the first half. New signing Jordan Bowery was put through on goal but there was the large frame of Lawlor to deny the former Aston Villa man. 

The Railwayman were looking for blood as the half played out and once again could have taken the lead when a pull back from Danny Hollands was teed up perfectly for the on-rushing Jones who fired a blistering effort at the Rovers goal, but Lawlor was there once again to tip the ball over the bar. 

HALF-TIME | Doncaster Rovers 1  Crewe Alexandra  1

Rovers were unlucky not to take the lead with the first real chance of the second half after Blair had made his way into the box and picked up a loose ball before prodding the ball off the far post. 

Rovers went back in front after 56 minutes. A whipped free-kick from Grant picked out Marquis who has lost his marker to head his 15th goal of the Sky Bet League Two season. 

The visitors nearly levelled the game once again through Bowery. Aa one-two between himself and Dagnall caused the Rovers defence trouble, Bowery edged past Butler before placing his effort narrowly past Lawlor’s right post. 

That warning shot spurred on Rovers and they extended their lead through Tommy Rowe after 66 minutes. 

A cross from the right was headed onto the underside of the crossbar by Williams before Rowe forced the ball over the line with his chest. 

It could have been 4-1 moments later when a cross from Rowe picked out Williams at the back post - he powered his header into the ground looking for the roof of the net but his effort bounced over the crossbar and away for a goal kick. 

FULL-TIME: Doncaster Rovers 3 Crewe Alexandra 1
ROVERS | Lawlor, Baudry, Butler, Mason, Blair (Alcock 60’), Houghton, Grant, Rowe, Coppinger (C), Williams, Marquis.  UNUSED SUBS | Etheridge, Wright, Keegan, Middleton, Longbottom, May.  BOOKED | Blair, Williams, Butler.
CREWE | Garratt, Turton, Bakayogo (Nugent 71’), Ray, Guthrie, Kirk (Kiwomya 67’), Cooper (Wintle 80’), Hollands (C), Jones, Bowery, Dagnall.  UNUSED SUBS | Lowe, Ng, Richards, Udoh. BOOKED | Ray.
ATTENDANCE|  5,737 (203 away)

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