Doncaster Rovers 2 Coventry City 0: Rovers keep survival hopes alive with gutsy display

Rovers' players celebrate Tommy Rowe's opener. Photo: Andrew Roe
Rovers' players celebrate Tommy Rowe's opener. Photo: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Rovers kept their survival hopes alive with a wholehearted display against Coventry City.

First half goals from man of the match Tommy Rowe and Andy Williams settled a fairly one-sided contest.

Rovers were fully committed from the outset and to a man worked their proverbials off to earn what could yet prove to be a vital three points. They completely suffocated Coventry for the majority of the first half before completing the job in a professional manner after the break.

The gloss was taken off the victory somewhat by news that Shrewsbury Town had recorded a surprise 3-2 win at Gillingham.

But the win, combined with a goalless draw between Fleetwood Town and Blackpool, did see Rovers cut the gap to safety from five points to three.

Richard Chaplow missed out through injury for Rovers, with Riccardo Calder replacing him in midfield.

During a frenetic start to the game Calder flashed a shot just wide from inside the box, while Luke McCullough had to make an important block to deny Adam Armstrong from close range.

The excellent Rowe was covering every blade of grass and it was the on-loan Wolves midfielder who claimed the vital opening goal mid-way through the first half when he flicked home

Gary McSheffrey's right wing corner at the near post.

Remi Matthews had to make an important save with his legs to keep out Armstrong but for the rest of the opening period the visitors were completely smothered by Doncaster's relentless

pressing and harrying.

The home side pressed home their dominance by doubling their lead on 32 minutes when Nathan Tyson, on for the injured McSheffrey, sent over a perfect cross from the left for Williams to head home.

Unsurprisingly, the second half became more about containing Coventry than pressing high up the pitch.

Nevertheless Rovers began the half on the front foot and went close to a third when Andy Butler's header from a corner was saved by Reice Charles-Cook.

Coventry's goalkeeper later had to divert a downward header from Tyson wide, while at the other end Matthews made a strong save low down to his left to keep out James Maddison.

Rovers: Matthews, Lund, Alcock, Butler, Evina, McCullough, Coppinger, Calder (Middleton 79), Rowe, McSheffrey (Tyson 28), Williams. Subs not used: Stuckmann, MacKenzie, Taylor-Sinclair, Mandeville, Stewart.

Coventry: Charles-Cook, Ricketts, Stephens, Martin, Phillips, Vincelot (Gadzhev 58), Fleck, Jones (Tudgay 58), Murphy (Maddison 69), Rose, Armstrong. Subs not used: Lameiras, Lorentzson, Fortune, Addai.

Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire)

Attendance: 6,364