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Bristol Rovers 0 Rovers 2

11 January 2020

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Doncaster Rovers made it three wins from three in 2020 with a 2-0 win away at Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Two late goals from skipper Ben Whiteman and substitute Rakish Bingham saw Rovers maintain their perfect start to the new year, with a third clean sheet in a row also in the bag.

Rovers started off the brighter of the two sides, with Whiteman seeing an effort saved inside two minutes as Jordi van Stappershoef flapped at a Kieran Sadlier cross, palming it out instead to the captain.

The No.8 couldn't quite get enough power on his shot, though windy conditions at the Memorial Stadium meant that the Gas stopper had to be alert to tip the ball over the crossbar.

van Stappershoef would be kept busy in the opening exchanges as Sadlier was next to try his luck in battling the elements, again though the home goalkeeper tipped over a swirling drive from distance.

Whiteman and Sadlier were doing all the early pressing for the visitors, and the Rovers captain saw a second shot in nine minutes blocked, this time by the back-tracking Jonson Clarke-Harris from close range, before Sadlier fired well over from distance moments later.

Alex Rodman would have to be alert for the hosts following Jon Taylor's mazy run down the right, hooking away Taylor's cross in from under his own crossbar after a dangerous looking ball from the Rovers wide man.

Taylor went close again as the game ticked towards half time, with another shot from close range blocked by Tony Craig.

It was more of the same from Rovers after the break, with the visitors looking eager to get the opening goal early on in the second half.

Sadlier fired over from eight yards after Madger Gomes' run into the box, before Niall Ennis chested the ball down to turn and shoot, but his effort went wide of the post.

The hosts had their first real chance on 51 minutes with Clarke-Harris knocking the ball back for Ed Upson, though the former Yeovil Town midfielder was unable to keep his shot down, firing over from the edge of the box.

Brad Halliday was next to try his luck down the other end, getting the ball off Whiteman before firing just wide of the post from distance, before going down the other end and blocking substitute Gavin Reilly's shot well inside his own box.

The hosts had two great chances in quick succession deep into the final 10 minutes, with Reece James doing well to deflect Rodman's header away from goal, before putting pressure on Clarke-Harris to force him to head wide from four yards out.

That defensive work would prove vital as Rovers found the opener on 86 minutes, with the skipper delivering at the vital moment.

He brought down Halliday's cross-field pass superbly with a deft touch before slotting the ball under van Stappershoef with a composed finish into the corner with his left foot.

The lead was doubled in the third of five minutes added on at the end of the second half, with Bingham winning the ball on half way before finding fellow substitute James Coppinger.

Coppinger neatly back-heeled into the path of Bingham who took a touch to take it around one defender before firing a superb curling effort into the far corner to seal three points, much to the delight of the 351 Rovers fans who had made the long journey to the South West.

Rovers face Coventry City at the Keepmoat Stadium next time out in Sky Bet League One on Saturday January 18, with tickets available from the Club Doncaster Box Office.

 


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