Match report: Doncaster Rovers 2 Newport County 0

Doncaster Rovers v Newport County
Doncaster Rovers v Newport County

That man James Coppinger found the net again as Rovers beat Newport County for their fifth win in six league matches.

Andy Williams also scored as Darren Ferguson's side moved second in the League Two standings.

Coppinger sent Rovers on their way after 17 minutes with a superb free kick while Williams made sure of the points after the break.

The performance lacked the thrills of the previous week's demolition of Morecambe but Rovers always had the edge, enough to claim the three points.

Ferguson will no doubt have been frustrated by at times ponderous possession play from his side but appeased by the win.

Newport went close on ten minutes when Mark Randall rose unmarked and looped a header just over the bar from 15 yards.

The man of the moment gave Rovers the lead on 17 minutes with a sublime deadball finish.

Coppinger jinked past several players into the box before play was pulled back for a foul 20 yards out. And he dusted himself off to curl a brilliant free kick inside the left post.

Rovers should have doubled their advantage within a minute. Cedric Evina darted forward on the break and cut inside to John Marquis who sent Harry Middleton scarpering clear only for the midfielder to produce a tame effort which went harmlessly wide.

Marquis hooked a bobbling cross on goal but Newport keeper Joe Day stretched to pluck it out of the air.

Streamers and confetti rained down from the Black Bank as the clock reached 26 with the Keepmoat faithful taking their chance to honour Coppinger after he passed the 500 appearance mark.

And during 'his' minute, Coppinger almost turned provider when he spotted Day well out of his goal and pumped a ball forward for Williams whose attempt to lob the keeper was tame.

Williams flicked a header just over the bar as Rovers continued to push.

But Newport had their moments, punishing Rovers as they were caught napping. Sean Rigg collected a flick on from former Rovers loanee Jon Parkin and saw his low shot drift just wide of the far post.

And the visitors should have been level on 33 minutes. Marko Marosi was caught out racing out of his goal and Parkin had the goal at his mercy after Reece Grego-Cox squared the ball but the big striker fired wide from the edge of the box.

Rovers were rather ponderous in their play as the half wore on and conceded possession cheaply.

But they did have chances to double their advantage. Tommy Rowe fired into the side-netting from a tight angle while Middleton sent a volley straight at Day.

And Williams saw a low shot drift agonisingly wide after a smart turn in the box.

Rovers were in control in the early stages after the break without producing much of real note.

But they tightened their grip on the three points with a second goal on 59 minutes.

Rowe chased the ball down and earned a bounce which took him into the box where he picked out the advancing Williams who curled with power into the far corner from 15 yards.

Newport pushed on despite the second setback and it took a fine save from Marosi to deny substitute Rhys Healey who had been played in one-on-one.

And Scott Bennett hooked well over the bar from the subsequent corner.

Williams had a glorious chance to put the game to bed as he raced clear but appeared to be caught in two minds whether to shoot or play through Jordan Houghton and succeeded only in poking the ball out for a goal kick.

The game somewhat petered out but Joe Wright was called upon to head off the line from Healey in stoppage time.

Rovers: Marosi, Blair, Wright, A Butler, Evina, Houghton, Middleton (Calder 60), Rowe, Coppinger (Mandeville 77), Marquis (Longbottom 90), Williams. Subs not used: Etheridge, Garratt, Baudry, Beestin.

Newport: Day, Turley, Jones, Bennett, D Butler, Grego-Cox, Randall, Tozer, Rigg (Healey 65), Labadie (Compton 24), Parkin (Jackson 65). Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, Green, Cameron.

Referee: David Webb (Lancashire)

Attendance: 5,254 (266 away)