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Doncaster Rovers 4 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 20th October 2020 Kick-off 19:00
Doncaster Rovers 4-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 20th Oct 2020 20:54

Doncaster Rovers came from a goal down to beat the Blues 4-1 and comprehensively end their unbeaten start to 2020/21 and drop them to second in the League One table. A Joe Wright own goal gave Town the lead on the quarter hour but goals from Cameron John and skipper Ben Whiteman on 28 and 37 gave the home side a 2-1 half-time lead before Whiteman netted the third from the spot in the 62nd minute and Fejiri Okenabirhie made it four two minutes later.

Town boss Paul Lambert made one change from the team which beat Accrington 2-0 on Saturday with Jon Nolan replacing Teddy Bishop, who dropped to the bench, in midfield.

Striker Oli Hawkins, who missed the weekend match due to a groin problem, was also among the subs.

Lambert started his front three as they moved to in the second half on Saturday with Freddie Sears down the middle, Gwion Edwards on the left and Alan Judge on the right.

Doncaster made two changes from the team which beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park on Saturday with veteran former Town target James Coppinger and Reece James moving to the bench, while Matt Smith and Josh Sims made their full debuts having been subs against Pompey.

After the players took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, the Blues dominated possession in the opening couple of minutes.

Sears won a seventh minute corner for Town following good work from Edwards and Emyr Huws on the counter-attack and from the flag-kick the ball briefly ran loose but to a Rovers player and the home side were able to break.

On nine Huws brought the ball forward midway inside the Doncaster half but scuffed his shot through to Doncaster keeper Josef Bursik.

Neither side had been able to create a more serious chance than that in an evenly-balanced opening spell until the Blues went in front right on the quarter-hour mark.

Skipper Chambers won a header on the right from a Tomas Holy long kick, then burst forward on to Judge’s return pass before sending in a low cross which Joe Wright turned into his own net ahead of Sears.

There was a big scare for the Blues in the 21st minute when Holy scuffed a pass forward to Sims not far outside the area. Nsiala got across quickly to make an important challenge, then Smith curled a shot over.

But Town were seeing most of the ball and passing it around confidently. In the 26th minute Sears and Judge combined on the edge of the box and the Irish international shot into Bursik’s arms.

However, in the 28th minute Rovers levelled with their first shot of the game following a sustained spell of passing in the Town half.

Eventually, with Nsiala and James Wilson having gone after the same ball outside the box, Smith played Cameron John in in space on the right of the area and the former Wolves trainee found the net off the underside of the bar.

Having conceded for only the third time in the league this season, the Blues went about restoring their lead. On 33 a Judge cross from the right was headed straight up in the air by a Doncaster defender ahead of Bursik but the ball failed to fall kindly for Town.

Two minutes later at the other end, Madger Gomes hit a low shot which flew not too far wide.

And in the 37th minute the home side went in front in a somewhat freakish manner. A short corner on the left was played to Sims and on to Whiteman, who sent a ball into the box from midway inside the half which evaded everyone and bounced past Holy to his left and into the net.

Town were behind for the first time in the league this season having not previously conceded twice in a game. Rovers continued to push after their second goal, a dangerous ball from the left flying across the area.

In the 40th minute, Judge hit the wall with a free-kick from not far outside the area and Chambers was unable to make anything of the loose ball.

Two minutes later, Judge found Huws on the edge of the area from where the Welshman hit a powerful volley over the bar.

Town made their way down the tunnel behind at the break for the first time in the league this season.

Having started well enough and got their noses in front, the Blues conceded two disappointing goals against a Rovers side which had previously looked unthreatening.

Both centre-halves were pulled into the same area for the first after Doncaster had been allowed to keep hold of the ball for a long spell, while the second should never have found its way into the net.

From there, Rovers looked the more confident side with Town unconvincing in the latter stages.

Andre Dozzell got his name in the book two minutes after the restart for a foul on Fejiri Okenabirhie.

In the 49th minute Sears hit a powerful strike at Bursik which the keeper did well to hold on to.

Rovers should have been 3-1 up a minute later when the Town defence and keeper Holy left a wayward through ball for one another and Sims was able to get in behind and seize on it. Nsiala was fortunate that his rash challenge didn’t bring the on-loan Southampton down before the winger scraped a low shot wide.

Town had made little headway since the break and on the hour Huws was swapped for Bishop.

Two minutes later, Rovers were 3-1 in front from the penalty spot. Nsiala clumsily felled Sims as he broke into the area on the left and referee Scott Oldham pointed to the spot. Nsiala and the Town bench vociferously claimed the foul was outside the box but the appeals achieved only as caution for the Town defender.

Whiteman confidently beat Holy from the spot to claim his second goal of the evening.

The scoreline was quickly to get worse as Doncaster went 4-1 in front via Okenabirhie.

As the Blues sought to play out from the back, Holy, who was having a tough evening, played a pass to Nsiala to his right but only succeeded in finding Sims, who played the ball inside to Okenabirhie, who picked his spot from the edge of the box.

Town, now having a mountain to climb to get anything from the game, swapped Sears for Hawkins in the 69th minute.

Jon Taylor thought he should have been awarded his side’s second penalty of the game in the 76th minute as he ended up on the ground as he went past Edwards. It was difficult to see whether he slipped or was caught by the Town player.

Edwards was replaced by Keanan Bennetts for Town and Doncaster Sims and Okenabirhie for James and Taylor Richards. On 83 Wilson was yellow-carded for a foul on Smith, who a minute later was swapped for Ed Williams.

In injury time, ??’s free-kick deflected through to Holy, who claimed.

To a huge degree Town were the architects of their own downfall having got themselves in the driver’s seat.

The Town backline won’t want to be reminded of any of the goals with those conceded in the second half as poor as those before the break.

Nsiala, widely praised for his start to the season, had already come close to giving a penalty away before his rash challenge which led to the spot-kick from which Doncaster scored their third.

The fourth, which was down to the type of error when passing out from the back which was a concern in pre-season, ended the game as a contest and the Blues never looked like getting back in it against a Rovers side by that stage unsurprisingly full of confidence.

A first setback of the season - and a very significant one given the margin of the defeat - with a trip to third-placed Lincoln City - where they were beaten 5-3 last season - a big test for Town and their character on Saturday.

Doncaster: Bursik, Halliday, Anderson, Wright, Gomes, Whiteman (c), Okenabirhie (Richards 76), Taylor, Smith (Williams 84), Sims (James 76), John. Unused: Jones, Lokilo, Butler, Coppinger.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Dozzell, Huws (Bishop 60), Nolan, Judge, Edwards (Bennetts 76), Sears (Hawkins 69). Unused: Cornell, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Lankester. Referee: Scott Oldham (Poulton-le-Fylde).

Photo: Action Images

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bobble added 20:57 - Oct 20

19781981twtd added 20:57 - Oct 20
Here we go again huff and puff until we play a half decent team then bums nip up a heads go down

midastouch added 20:58 - Oct 20
Some worrying performances tonight. Changes needed for Saturday.

fallguy1234 added 21:00 - Oct 20
Very frustrating that I predicted this before the game tonight. This was our first test I believe this season and sadly we failed miserably. I’ve never seen so much sloppiness in my life. Why are we playing out from the back with Nsiala chambers Kenlock and Wilson? Alan judge should not be near the team. In my opinion, I believe it’s time for McGuinness to get his chance. Also Lankester...why can’t he get a game now?

midlandblue54 added 21:01 - Oct 20
Talk yourself out of this one lambert you clown !

chopra777 added 21:02 - Oct 20
Felt like as journey from Brazil to Bolton tonight. Not a bad team performance, just loads of silly mistakes. Regroup and move on.

itfchorry added 21:03 - Oct 20
Hopefully this is just a blip.

Looked very poor trying to play out from the back,
Which resulted in 2 of their goals.

Ball again being passed sideways and then back.

Surely this was a chance for young Simpson.

Improvement a must for Saturday.

robmonkey007 added 21:03 - Oct 20
Judge offers absolutely f@#£ all. Bound to have bumps in the road, but changes needed for a better display Saturday.

TimmyH added 21:03 - Oct 20
Well this is a wake up call...conceding 4 in one game when we have only conceded one before this. Still feel we're a very fragile side, big test is how we respond.


waldenblue7 added 21:04 - Oct 20
Sadly our first real test proved an uphill struggle, hopefully they’re prove me wrong but I fear the worst now. Saturday’s game will be a pivotal moment.

billythefish added 21:04 - Oct 20
Same as last season, cannot compete with top 6 sides

BartonBluee added 21:05 - Oct 20
Jesus Christ! Some of you lot call yourselves “fans” I wouldn’t want you in my corner! We’ve lost one game in 7. From some of the comments you’d think we’d lost 7 from 7!!

Regroup and go again this weekend. Also reality check, if you think we won’t lose a few games this season go support someone else!


Tractorboy1985 added 21:06 - Oct 20
After a bright start here we go again... when the going gets tough we down tools!! I’m afraid Wilson and Nsiala are not good enough against the better sides in the division! Time for Woolfenden and the young lad from arsenal to build a partnership! Why we continually try and play out from the back when we simply don’t have the players to do it is criminal! Sometimes the punt up field is the right choice! The first test and we’ve failed miserably! Big changes needed for Lincoln who are also going well! Back to the training ground mr Lambert.....

BromleyBloo added 21:08 - Oct 20
Very disappointing. So our defence and passing out from the back with our current personnel gets quickly found out by a better quality team. Doncaster decent, but their second, third and fourth goals were pretty bad, bordering on the embarrassing. Nsiala had a game from last season - bring back Woolfenden ASAP who is actually comfortable on the ball and, as I said last game, while I like his intimidating presence, Holy’s distribution is terrible. Didn’t understand the team selection - why drop Bishop and we were never going to chance it against a team like Doncaster without a bigger presence up front. If Hawkins was fit he should have played from the start; we were lightweight and had very limited options to change it, especially understandably up front. Even when we were 4-1 down Dozell and Nolan both so deep and everyone one playing tippy tappy at the back when we were three goals down. Difficult to think of any positive to mention - a wake up call and if repeated at Lincoln on Sat, worrying!!!

Carberry added 21:08 - Oct 20
That ?? Is a decent player isn't he.

runningout added 21:09 - Oct 20
Would say sometimes it’s better playing catch up, but we failed on that front last season. Too many similarities. If I was coaching opposition All I would say was show speed down wings and give us s*it and show arrogance all game and I’ll be on a winner. Exactly what all teams with an ounce of ambition do.

Reuserscurtains added 21:09 - Oct 20
1. Stop playing it out from the back, especially with Holy
2. I’m better than Judge

shouldistayorcounago added 21:09 - Oct 20
Not good, will be a massive test of character to see how we respond at the weekend.

ThaiBlue added 21:10 - Oct 20
Shocker,did we come out for the 2nd half,we aint as good as people make us out to be.

Sindre94 added 21:11 - Oct 20
Calm down. On to the next. I think Lambert has been waiting for a chance to play McGuinness and Cornell. We will probably see them both on saturday.

raycrawfordswig added 21:11 - Oct 20
Good to have our usual defence back .

Nobbysnuts added 21:12 - Oct 20
Oh well it was good while it lasted. This is going to take some explaining mr lambert. And I'll say it first we did not play really really really well......

Cloddyseedbed added 21:13 - Oct 20
Came up against a good team and good manager who'd done his homework on how to beat us. Close us down quick, pressure on our defence all the time and they will crack. Defence does not have players who are comfortable with the ball. Tippy tappy at the backy will always fail with the players we have if they are closed down quick. Midfield were slow, Huws didn't look as though he wanted to be on the pitch. No one up front. Doncaster after the 2nd goal were by far the better team, we looked weak all over the pitch tonight, a night when every player looked poor. I'm not convinced with Nsiala, his confidence is quickly lost. If that was played infront of a crowd I think he would have been even worse. Every player looked lethargic and team had a lack of idea's. Our winning run had to end one day but it really ended tonight very poorly and it will be interesting to see if we bounce back on Saturday or doubt creeps in with the players and we go on a long loosing run. Couldn't believe Lambert taking Sears off, surely it would have been better to go 2 up front when your loosing. No plan B. I'd like to see McGuiness in on Saturday at the back, he's a really talented footballer.

Bluearmy_81 added 21:13 - Oct 20
Teams that get automatic promotion don't get thumped like that, well, maybe once as a pure blip in a season. Unfortunately I don't see tonight as that. Only one man to blame if we don't go up but the serfs will never turn on the landowner, instead they call him Mister! 😂🤣😂

speccybaz added 21:17 - Oct 20
This could just be ‘one of those games’ but I think more likely it shows our limitations. I really fear that we’ve reached our level i.e. League One. We are capable of playing excellent football but there is also a soft under-belly. With a goalie who can’t kick, defenders who can’t play it out from the back, a midfield that often goes missing and a pretty powder puff strike force, the opening six games probably represent alas another ‘false dawn’.

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