Copp that! A glorious strike from Jamie Coppinger gives Doncaster all three points in the battle of the Rovers at Prenton Park. Ronnie Moore is of the belief that the way to stop the current Doncaster side is effectively with force. A physical approach should disrupt the patient and fluent passing style cultured by Sean O’Driscoll. In November Moore’s Tranmere came to Doncaster with this philosophy, intent simply on breaking down the game and leaving with a point. Thankfully today they were never given chance to try it again as Doncaster struck inside two minutes.
Jamie Coppinger dispossessed a home defender and let fly from twenty-five yards with a glorious swerving effort that dipped under the crossbar to give Doncaster the perfect start in what had promised to be a tricky away match. Twenty minutes in Donny almost doubled their lead as Wellens put former Tranmere player Jason Price in on goal; however Price’s effort from a narrow angle was well saved by Danny Coyne.
The home side began to assert themselves on the game but struggled to test Neil Sullivan in the Doncaster goal; managing just a single shot on target in the first half as the Scottish keeper comfortably held Antony Kay’s effort from the edge of the area. The hooped Rovers were having more luck in attack and in the run up to half-time Gareth Roberts hit a low free-kick on target, however Coyne was down on it comfortably.
There was disappointment for Doncaster early in the second half as Price left the field with an ankle injury; to be replaced by his former Hull City team-mate Stuart Elliott. With the talismanic forward off the field the visitors were set to spend much of the second half in defence as Tranmere pushed for a way back into the game. However they were up against a Doncaster defence determined to keep it’s seventh clean sheet in nine games. As such the home side’s chances were limited and their best opportunity came as Ian Moore met Andy Taylor’s cross with a diving header, but Sullivan was again equal to it.
A vital three points for Rovers as they recovered from last week’s defeat at Carlisle in the best possible way. With the Cumbrians facing Nottingham Forest on Monday this victory lifted Doncaster back into the automatic promotion positions for two days at least. Hopefully this win will begin another kick forward as Rovers look to fulfil their Chairman’s prophecy and make the Championship.
Tranmere Rovers line-up (4-4-2); Danny Coyne; Robbie Stockdale, Antony Kay, Ian Goodison, Andy Taylor; Jennison Myrie-Williams (Calvin Zola), John Mullin, Paul McLaren, Shane Sherriff; Chris Greenacre (Craig Curran), Ian Moore
subs not used: Adnan Ahmed, Ben Chorley, John Achterberg
Doncaster Rovers line-up (3-4-1-2); Neil Sullivan; Matt Mills, Stephen Roberts, Adam Lockwood; Paul Green, Richie Wellens (Gareth Taylor), Brian Stock, Gareth Roberts; Jamie Coppinger (Mark Wilson); Jason Price (Stuart Elliott), Mark McCammon
subs not used: Paul Heffernan, Sean McDaid
booked: Brian Stock, Stuart Elliott, Adam Lockwood