Match report: Doncaster Rovers 2 Stalybridge Celtic 0

Andy Williams celebrates with team mates after giving Rovers an early lead over Stalybridge Celtic
Andy Williams celebrates with team mates after giving Rovers an early lead over Stalybridge Celtic

Andy Williams scored twice as Rovers eased past non-league Stalybridge Celtic into the second round of the FA Cup.

It was far from fluid or pretty but Rovers produced a thoroughly impressive performance to see off a game side from National League North to advance.

Andy Williams slots home the opening goal

Andy Williams slots home the opening goal

The game will almost certainly be remembered for the one in which James Coppinger became Rovers' all-time leading appearance maker. His 469th appearance for the club was marked with a pre-match presentation and an applause in the 26th minute.

Other moments of note were few and far between in a rather uneventful tie.

Brazilian full back Felipe Mattioni - on loan from Everton - made his debut for Rovers in the only change from last weekend's win over Colchester United.

It was all too simple as Rovers took the lead with just three minutes on the clock. Nathan Tyson galloped forward and cut a pass back from the byline with Williams charging in to slot home from 15 yards.

But the easy ride would not continue as Stalybridge worked hard to deny Rovers the chance to get into any sort of flow.

The hosts, as expected, did create plenty more chances than their visitors from three tiers below.

Conor Grant forced a good save from Stalybridge keeper Tony McMillan with a shot from the edge of the box.

Rovers probed well down the left but failed to find the ball to connect with crosses from Cedric Evina on several occasions.

Stalybridge's took their opportunities to threaten from setpieces and Thorsten Stuckmann had to be alert to keep out a driven free kick from Bohan Dixon.

Celtic failed to produce the same energy levels after the break and could have found themselves two down early on when Harry Middleton collected a lay off from Mattioni only to fire wide.

The visitors could have been level however when Jack Higgins looped a header towards the top corner only for Stuckmann to keep it out with his fingertips.

It had largely been a slog for Rovers but Williams showed enough alterness to grab the second on 68 minutes.

The ball was tossed around the box from a corner with Oliver Crowley missing his clearance, allowing Williams in to volley home on the angle from close range.

Rovers finished the game in comfortable fashion and really should have extended their advantage.

Mattioni was denied at the near post by McMillan while Williams' audacious overhead kick attempt flew just over.

Substitute Chris Simm headed just wide from a corner in Stalybridge's final attempt while Williams just failed to connect with Keshi Anderson's drilled ball to the back post.

Rovers: Stuckmann, Lund, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Felipe, Coppinger, Middleton, Grant, Evina, Tyson (Anderson 57), Williams. Subs not used: Marosi, McCullough, Wellens, Forrester, Whitehouse, Main, Anderson.

Stalybridge: McMillan, Wylie, Hughes, Higgins, Crowley, Farrell, Dixon, Chalmers, Wisdom (Chippendale 67), Tames (Wright 55), Johnson (Simm 67). Subs not used: Osei, Hibbert, McKenna, Lingouba.

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 3,991