Result: Crewe Alexandra 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: Coppinger equaliser spares Rovers’ blushes at bottom club

James Coppinger gets in a shot which is tipped over by the  keeper
James Coppinger gets in a shot which is tipped over by the keeper

James Coppinger struck late in the second half to rescue a point for Doncaster Rovers at League One bottom side Crewe Alexandra.

On-loan Watford striker Uche Ikpeazu had fired Crewe into the lead on the half hour.

But just when the Railwaymen thought they had taken the sting out of Rovers, Coppinger pounced from close range to earn the visitors a point.

Nathan Tyson and Curtis Main both had early efforts on goal as Rovers started the game in composed fashion.

Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt produced an excellent save to deny Coppinger from Main’s cross.

From the resultant corner Tyson then wasted a gilt-edged chance, volleying over when he had time and space.

At the other end Kyle Bennett tracked back to produce a brilliant block after the marauding Ikpeazu released Nicky Ajose.

A lull in proceedings followed the early flurry in chances, and Crewe seized the advantage on the half hour out of nothing when dangerman Ikpeazu was allowed to turn and drill an effort low under the body of Sam Johnstone.

Ajose might have doubled the home side’s lead but he volleyed wastefully wide after a mistake from Paul Keegan.

Rovers started the second period in similar fashion to the first but were restricted to efforts from range from Richie Wellens, Paul Keegan and Kyle Bennett.

Ikpeazu continued to be a handful and saw another decent effort saved by Johnstone after a barn-storming run from half way as Crewe threatened on the counter attack.

Paul Dickov threw on Theo Robinson, Harry Forrester and Dean Furman who each offered good energy.

However, the visitors were struggling to threaten a well-drilled Crewe backline, Main and Forrester both seeing further efforts from distance sail over.

Just when Doncaster appeared to be running out of ideas they levelled matters.

From Forrester’s right wing corner Garratt saved superbly from Luke McCullough but Coppinger was on hand to prod home the rebound.

Forrester and Main flashed shots wide as Rovers threatened to grab a late winner but Dickov’s men had to make do with a point.

Crewe: Garratt; Davis, Ray, Dugdale, Leigh (Guthrie 72); Turton, Bailie, Ness, Grant, Ikpeazu (Haber 72), Ajose (Inman 90+1). Subs: Shearer, Guthrie, Atkinson, Cooper, Tate.

Rovers: Johnstone; Wabara, Butler, McCullough, Stevens; Coppinger, Wellens, Keegan (Furman 72), Bennett (Forrester 65); Tyson (Robinson 59), Main. Subs: Marosi, McCombe, De Val, Wakefield.

Attendance: 4530