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Match Report


Posted Sat 05 Nov 11 at 14:20 PM


Town suffered a third straight defeat, as an El-Hadji Diouf double helped Doncaster take all three points from Portman Road.

The Senegalese striker scored either side of a Billy Sharp strike to put Rovers 3-0 up, before Josh Carson and Michael Chopra responded for Town in the second half.

Paul Jewell made four changes to the Town side, with Colin Healy and Tamas Priskin being recalled to the starting line-up, along with Ivar Ingimarsson and Reece Wabara, who were promoted from the bench.

Despite Doncaster dominating the early stages, it was Town who produced the first shot on goal after 12 minutes, but Keith Andrews' well hit drive from the edge of the box was deflected just wide of the bottom corner.

However it was the visitors who opened the scoring, after 17 minutes. Good work on the left hand-side by Simon Gillett saw the former Southampton man slip in James Coppinger, who in turn crossed for Diouf who headed the ball past Town 'keeper David Stockdale.

Six minutes later and Doncaster doubled their lead through Sharp, in a similar fashion to their opener. Coppinger was again the creator, as he crossed into the box, and Sharp got in between Danny Collins and Ingimarsson to plant his header into the corner and away from Stockdale's outstretched hand.

Jewell responded to the second goal by bringing on Lee Martin in place of Healy and it almost paid off for Town, with Chopra seeing a goal disallowed after Priskin was adjudged to have been in an offside position in the build up.

However things soon got worse for Town as the visitors extended their lead. A neat touch from Sharp released his strike partner Diouf, who ran at the Blues defence before expertly slotting into the bottom corner to score his second and Rovers' third after 39 minutes.

Carson was introduced after the break, with Jimmy Bullard going off, and the young winger almost pulled a goal back less than a minute after the restart.

A great cross-field ball from skipper Grant Leadbitter found the Northern Irishman, who cut inside his marker but failed to work the 'keeper with his effort.

The substitute was looking lively and his efforts were soon rewarded as he pulled a goal back for Town after 53 minutes.

Good work on the left from fellow substitute Martin saw him skip past Pascal Chimbonda before crossing dangerously into the Rovers box, where Carson was on hand to bundle the ball home after Priskin had failed to connect.

But Dean Saunders' side were still looking dangerous on the counter and Diouf was only denied a hat-trick by a last ditch clearance from Andrews after 63 minutes following good work from Coppinger.

However just a minute and Doncaster should have put the game to bed. Diouf twisted away from Ingimarsson before crossing for the unmarked George Friend, but the Rovers skipper headed over from six yards when he really should have done better.

Town were pressing and almost got back into the game through Andrews after 76 minutes, but the Blackburn loanee saw his effort deflect just over the bar and out for a corner.

Eight minutes from time and Rovers almost scored their fourth, as Coppinger cut inside Cresswell inside the box but the midfielder rushed his shot and it sailed wide of Stockdale's post.

Town continued to press and Chopra pulled a goal back in injury time, as he connected with an Emmanuel-Thomas cross, but Doncaster held on to leave Portman Road with all three points.

Blues are back in action on November 19th when they take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Town: Stockdale, Wabara, Ingimarsson, Collins, Cresswell, Andrews, Leadbitter, Bullard (Carson 46), Healy (Martin 27), Chopra, Priskin (Emmanuel-Thomas 64). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Edwards. Booked: Leadbitter, Emmanuel-Thomas, Andrews

Doncaster: Sullivan, Chimbona, Martis, Naylor, Friend, Coppinger, Gillett, Stock, Diouf (O'Connor 82), Sharp (Hayter 68), Ilunga. Subs not used: Maxted, Barnes, Bennett. Booked: Gillett, Stock

Att: 17, 184.

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