What a difference a few hours makes eh? This morning we were play-off bound; down and out of the promotion race. Tonight the dream is resurrected. Good things are never simple are they? With matches running out and Carlisle seemingly uncatchable this match had something of an air of the testimonial about it early on, but that would change as the day afternoon progressed and news filtered through from elsewhere.
Rovers began brightly and there were chances for Matt Mills, Mark McCammon and Jamie Coppinger all inside the opening ten minutes, Mills the closest, denied only by a great save from Dean Brill. It was seemingly all Rovers as Coppinger received the ball from Gareth Roberts cut inside and struck a curling right foot effort from the edge of the box only for Brill to turn it away again and James O’Connor blasted the rebound into the North Stand. Brill continued to thwart the Rovers denying both Roberts and Gareth Taylor and when the keeper was finally beaten by Sam Hird, the defender’s effort was cleared off the line.
Eventually ten minutes before the break Rovers finally got the breakthrough; Brian Stock’s right wing corner was headed at goal by McCammon; again Brill got down to make a great save, but this time Mills was on hand to poke home the opening goal. It had taken time to arrive but a one nil half-time lead was more than deserved.
In the second half Luton finally found their footing in the match, buts struggled to turn increased possession into a clear chance on goal, their best effort so far came as Matthew Spring fired over from twenty yards. Rovers meanwhile continued to threaten despite losing Brian Stock to an injury. More chances for McCammon and substitute Stuart Elliott as Rovers came close to adding to their tally, but still could not find that crucial second goal.
With Luton starting to find a way back into the match Rovers finally made the points safe ten minutes from time. Coppinger rolled a quick free-kick to Roberts and his left foot cross was headed home by McCammon to secure all three points. As the clock ran down more good news came Rovers way; Carlisle had been beaten at Millwall. Rovers were up to second with a game to go, for the first time in a long time, promotion was, Leeds appeal depending, back in our own hands.
Doncaster Rovers line-up (4-3-1-2): Neil Sullivan; James O’Connor, Matt Mills, Sam Hird, Gareth Roberts; Brian Stock (Stuart Elliott), Richie Wellens, Paul Green; Jamie Coppinger; Gareth Taylor (Jason Price), Mark McCammon (Graeme Lee)
subs not used: Lewis Guy, Paul Heffernan
Luton Town line-up (4-4-2): Dean Brill; Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Lewis Emanuel, Matthew Spring, Steve O’Leary; Don Hutchison, Darren Currie, Paul McVeigh (Steve Robinson), Keith Keane; Sol Davies (Calvin Andrew), Sam Parkin
subs not used: Richard Jackson, Richard Langley, Marlon Beresford
booked: Matthew Spring