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Match Report


Posted Tue 15 Feb 11 at 19:51 PM


Town chalked up a first away win against Doncaster in sensational style with Connor Wickham grabbing a hat-trick and Colin Healy his first goal for the Club.

A Sam Hird own goal sent Blues on the way midway through the first-half, Healy then extending the lead after a slick pass from Lee Martin.

Wickham made it three just before the break with a right foot finish after Gary Woods had palmed out Healy's shot.

Any thought of a fightback was ended on the hour when Wickham lashed in his second following a corner and Gareth McAuley made it five with a close range header soon after from Jimmy Bullard's free-kick.

Wickham completed his hat-trick on 90 minutes when he buried a penalty after he had been fouled to make it Blues' biggest win since the victory over Bristol City by the same scoreline in November 2007.

Paul Jewell made two changes from the side that drew at Barnsley, Healy coming in for the injured David Norris and Jason Scotland returning to the attack at the expense of Tamas Priskin. The injured Billy Sharp, who scored twice when the clubs met at Portman Road, missed out for the hosts.

Marton Fulop had to be alert to cut out the danger from James Coppinger inside the first two minutes but the warning signs were there soon after, Wickham failing to convert at the near post from Martin's cross.

Scotland fired over, while Mark Wilson had Doncaster's best effort of the opening 45 minutes, rounding off a neat move before driving the ball just wide.

Bullard had a shot deflected wide after McAuley had chested the ball into his path, the Hull loanee then finding Grant Leadbitter with a corner, the midfielder's volley blocked.

Town got the threatened breakthrough on 24 minutes. Wickham hooked the ball back into the box after it had been partly cleared and Hird got to it first as McAuley challenged, only to see his header loop over the advancing Woods and into the net.

Wickham's clever flick set up Scotland, whose shot was deflected as Town looked for a second and it came just past the half hour. Damien Delaney's long ball forward wasn't dealt with by Hird, Martin crossed first time and Healy guided the ball immaculately into the net.

James Chambers poked the ball across goal as Donny looked for a response but Sean O'Driscoll's side were stung again four minutes before the break, Woods failing to hold Healy's 25 yarder and Wickham on hand to find the net.

Doncaster made a change at the break, Chambers replaced by Wayne Thomas, Wilson blasting wide as the second-half got underway, Fulop quickly off his line to cancel out the threat from Dean Shiels.

Town wrapped up the points with blue ribbons on just past the hour, Woods failed to deal with Bullard's corner and Wickham volleyed in his second of the night.

Andy Drury was handed his debut for Town and his first appearance in League football, replacing Martin and received a warm ovation from the jubilant travelling Blue Army.

It was five on 65 minutes, Bullard the architect with a devilish free-kick and McAuley rising to head in from eight yards. Wickham almost made it six a minute later with a header saved by Woods. Doncaster then replacing Shiels with Ryan Burge.

Town made a second change with Scotland replaced by Priskin and a third with Jaime Peters introduced for skipper Leadbitter, Mark Kennedy taking the armband. Dennis Souza was handed the last five minutes for Donny, Joseph Mills making way.

Fulop made a fantastic save to prevent what looked a certain goal from Paul Keegan but the last word went to Wickham, who converted expertly from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Hird.

It was Town's biggest away win since hitting Swindon for six in April 1999.

Doncaster: Woods, Chambers (Thomas 46), O'Connor, Hird, Friend, Oster, Keegan, Wilson, Mills (Souza 86), Coppinger, Shiels (Burge 70). Subs not used: Kilgallon, Webster, Grayson, Sullivan.

Town: Fulop, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Martin (Drury 62), Leadbitter (Peters 79), Healy, Bullard, Wickham, Scotland (Priskin 76) Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Civelli, Smith, O'Dea.
Att: 8448

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