It was all go so swimmmingly as well; alas a 4-0 defeat from Swansea City at the Keepmoat Stadium puts a hefty dent in Rovers’ promotion charge. After a rallying cry from John Ryan earlier in the week the Friday night lights of the Keepmoat Stadium enticed over 10,000 soles to what the club had intriguingly billed as ‘fight night’ on their pre-match posters. If those posters are to be believed then the match was far from the twelve round slog many had hoped for; instead it was a knock-out victory for the League One leaders.
Swansea City had begun to move away at the top of the table before this weekend and after tonight’s display it looks unlikely that they will be caught by anyone before May. Comfortably the best side to visit DN4 this season the Swans deservedly set off back to Wales with three points; only the margin of victory a little hard on the Rovers.
After a fairly even start to the game in which both sides forged chances the visitors took the lead on the half hour mark as Ferrie Bodde drove a low free-kick past the wall and into the bottom corner. Rovers, determined to make a game of it, replied within a minute but unfortunately Jason Price was offside when finishing from Paul Green’s header.
Rovers had another chance to level early in the second half as Price was released but the forward’s first touch let him down and Vorus de Vries in the Swansea goal was out to deny the forward. Instead the next goal to went the way of the visitors as Jason Scotland got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Guillem Bauza to double the lead seven minutes into the half.
Rovers’ night went from bad to worse just before the hour mark as Bauza broke again only to be brought down by Stephen Roberts; a goalscoring opportunity certainly and a red card for Rovers’ welsh centre half. Down to ten men Rovers pushed forward but could not find a way through and gave the Swans a chance to make it 3-0 with five minutes to go when Matt Mills fouled Fabian Brandy in the area. Scotland took the penalty and made no mistake.
Rovers had a penalty appeal of their own turned down before the visitors made it 4-0 in injury time; Andy Robinson crossing for Brandy to finish from close range. A disappointing night for the Rovers but perspective is needed. Six points from three successive games against the division’s leading sides is no mean feat. Rovers have a chance to put this defeat behind them on Tuesday night, if they can beat Hartlepool then the promotion race will be open again within a matter of days.
Doncaster Rovers line-up (4-3-1-2): Neil Sullivan; James O’Connor, Stephen Roberts, Adam Lockwood (Matt Mills), Gareth Roberts; Paul Green, Richie Wellens, Martin Woods (Lewis Guy); James Coppinger; Jason Price, Mark McCammon (James Hayter)
subs not used: Mark Wilson, Sean McDaid
booked: Mark McCammon
sent off: Stephen Roberts
Swansea City line-up (4-4-2): Dorus de Vries; Marcus Painter, Dennis Lawrence, Gary Monk, Angel Rangel; Ferrie Bodde, Paul Anderson, Thomas Butler (Andy Robinson), Leon Britton (Joe Allen); Jason Scotland, Guillem Bauza (Fabian Brandy)
subs not used: Kristian O’Leary, Alan Tate