Doncaster Rovers opened a gap of five points over Swindon Town yesterday, with a derby day victory over Scunthorpe United.
Over 2,000 Rovers’ fans made the short trip into Lincolnshire to see the eagerly anticipated game. Earlier in the season, Scunthorpe fell to a 4-0 defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium. Goals in that game came from David Cotterill, Billy Paynter, Rob Jones and an own goal from Christian Ribeiro.
Going into Saturday’s game, Rovers’ lead at the top of the league was only two points while the Iron were resisting the drop zone in 21st position.
It took only five minutes for Rovers, who were playing in their white away shirt, to take the lead. David Cotterill sent in a cross from the right wing where, unchallenged, Scunthorpe’s DAVID MIRFIN passed the ball past his own keeper.
Iain Hume had a number of efforts following the goal, including beating the Scunny keeper but also the post from around three yards.
It was Hume who doubled Rovers’ lead after 39 minutes. Rob Jones found the Canadian international with a low through ball from inside his own half. HUME beat the shoddy offside trap and coolly beat Johanson in the Scunthorpe goal.
Rovers failed to take their two goal lead into the break. A free kick was awarded to the hosts and MARK DUFFY stepped up to send a curling effort into the top right hand corner of the goal. Duffy’s strike came on 41 minutes.
Scunthorpe 1-2 Rovers
Rovers came into the second half looking to extend their lead, and did so in the 48th minute. Excellent play on the left hand side between Tommy Spurr and James Husband eventually opened up a pass to John Lundstram in the area. Lundstram pulled the ball back for CHRIS BROWN to slot in his 11th goal of the season from close range.
There were many chances to put the game to bed for Rovers, but they failed to take advantage and, despite shots from Chris Brown and Iain Hume, allowed Scunthorpe to come back into the game.
The hosts kept pushing to cut Rovers’ advantage and their hard work paid off with five minutes to spare. A cross from the right found KARL HAWLEY who bundled home after hitting the post with his initial effort.
Rovers began to sit back, with Scunthorpe pushing for an equalizer, but they ran out of time and Rovers added an extra three points to their impressive tally to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Scunthorpe 2-3 Rovers
Attendance – 5,288 Referee – S. Mathieson vikingsbloggen MOTM – Chris Brown
Match Rating – ****
Quinn Jones McCombe Spurr
Cotterill Lundstram Coppinger Husband
And on the bench… Sullivan, Wakefield, Griffin, Wilson, Paynter (Hume – 82), Sinclair, Bennett.
Goalscorers – Mirfin (O.G. – 5), Hume (39), Brown (48)
Nolan Mirfin Reid Newey
Duffy Collins Ryan Forde
And on the bench… Severn, Ribeiro, Grella (Sodje – 71), Barcham (Forde – 53), Canavan (Mirfin – HT), Hornsey, Alabi.
Goalscorers - Duffy (41), Hawley (85)