FT Rovers: Brighton 1 Doncaster 0

Brighton vs Doncaster Rovers -chris brown takes on stephen ward

Brighton vs Doncaster Rovers -chris brown takes on stephen ward

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Doncaster Rovers were pipped 1-0 at Brighton by a 75th minute Ulloa goal with Billy Sharp’s dismissal in the 86th minute adding to their woes.

There appears to be plenty of affection reserved for Rovers from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Being the last opposition at the old Goldstone Ground and the first at the still-sparkling Amex puts Doncaster in a special place in Brighton history.

The fact they have picked up just one win in their visits to the Sussex town will have only further endeared Rovers to their hosts over the years!

Paul Dickov’s side travelled brimming with confidence after a season’s-best run of form and plenty of belief they could slightly brighten their Brighton record.

Over the first half the chances of doing that looked slim as the hosts buzzed with energy, driven from the wide areas where they packed plenty of pace.

Orlandi sent in a fine cross which the Rovers full back headed behind but only just missed sending the ball into his own goal.

Brighton received a few free kicks in wide areas but Rovers keeper Johnstone dealt with both crosses and follow up strikes well.

The crosses continued to come as the hosts continued their bright start and Ulloa sent a header wide from a Ward delivery.

Rovers struggled a little with the absence of the suspended Wellens, lacking the composure the talismanic midfielder brings to the centre of midfield.

Passes were frequently short, setting Brighton off on electric counterattacks, one of which needed a Furman block to prevent Ulloa from pouncing on a cross.

Doncaster did begin to enjoy some possession from the midpoint of the half without really producing anything of note in the final third.

The hosts’ best chance of the opening period came on the half hour when Ward’s low cross was just missed by the stretching Ulloa while Bruno’s follow up from the edge of the area was easily held by Johnstone.

Rovers broke forward but there was a lack of support, something bemoaned by both Sharp and Coppinger.

Their best chance came late in the half when Husband was released into the area but his cut back was intercepted and hacked clear.

It took another piece of alert goalkeeping from Johnstone to get in ahead of Rodriguez after March’s knockback.

HALF-TIME

Brighton......... 0

Rovers..............0

Rovers’ first attempt on goal of the match came three minutes into a much brighter second half.

Coppinger sent in a teasing cross to the near post, Sharp got ahead of his marker but scuffed his header high and wide.

Brighton surged up the other end. Ulloa received the ball with his back to goal ten yards out, turned and shot low but it proved easy for Johnstone to handle.

Rovers should have been ahead on 56 minutes. Sharp executed a diving header from a Coppinger cross but sent the ball agonisingly wide. The striker laid face down in the grass for several moments afterwards, reliving the golden opportunity.

Rovers continued their attacking improvement and produced their first shot on target moments later. Coppinger struck Brown’s inside pass first time but hit it straight at Kuszczak.

A calamatous claim from the Brighton keeper almost gifted Rovers the opening goal. Husband sent in a high ball, Kuszczak fluffed his catch and cut a relieved figure as the ball dropped just wide.

Brighton’s lone striker Ulloa continued to get on the end of good chances but it did not look like it was to be the Argentine’s afternoon when he saw a goal ruled out for offside after turning home sub LuaLua’s low cross.

Duffy almost put Rovers ahead when he found space and drilled a shot from just inside the area but it flew over the bar.

It was proved that persistence pays off on 75 minutes. Ward sent in a high cross from the left and ULLOA rose well to head past Johnstone and give Brighton the lead.

The afternoon quickly ran away from Rovers when Sharp was sent off on 86 minutes when he appeared to throw a shoulder at Greer after a tussle.

Substitute Cotterill produced a decent shot from the edge of the area but even with a deflection Kuszczak got to the ball.

It ended with defeat and a familiar feeling for Rovers in Brighton.