Goals! And a Win! If you are not dancing around your living room or office right now to the strains of Fiesta by The Pogues then that’ll be because you’re writing a grovelling apology letter to Sean O’Driscoll. Two goals in quick succession from Billy Sharp and Dean Shiels inside the opening twenty minutes put Rovers well on their way to victory, though Aaron McClean’s header ten minutes before half time ensured that it was not to be a smooth ride. The result was not to be deicded until five minutes from time as Jason Shackell headed his first goal for the club to secure a 3-1 victory.
Maybe Rovers should begin by attacking the South Stand more often? Though having offered that it was the visitors who had the game’s opening chance as Craig Mackail-Smith made space for a right footed strike from distance but Sullivan got down well to his right to smother the shot. Although Peterborough had the better of the opening fifteen minutes it was Rovers who ultimately opened the scoring as Simon Gillett lifted a ball into the box towards James Hayter. The forward looked to be held by his marker who cleared the initial cross but the ball fell to Dean Shiels and though his low effort was saved by ‘keeper Joe Lewis, Billy Sharp was first to react and turn home the rebound.
Within four minutes it was 2-0 as Rovers broke out of defence following a Peterborough free-kick. Shiels playing Jamie Coppinger forward down the left hand side and the midfielder beat his man before squaring for Shiels to run onto and he made no mistake with a well taken low finish into the far corner from the edge of the area. In control Rovers began to move the ball about well, bringing some ole’s from the crowd but they failed to create any genuine openings to add to their scoring, only Gillett coming close as he chiiped an effort just beyond the far post. Instead the next goal went the visitors way as Peterborough made it 2-1 just after the half hour mark. Tommy Rowe showed neat control to turn and cross from the left for Aaron McLean to throw himself into a header from twelve yards which found the net.
The goal brought United back into the contest but neither side threatened to alter the scoreline before half-time. Posh changed things at the break though with Darren Ferguson making a double substitution to try and refresh the visitors pursuit of an equaliser. The visitors did have chances, most notably when McLean had chance to strike but his effort was comfortably fielded by Sullivan. Jamie Coppinger was looking particualrly lively for Rovers and was at the heart of a couple of chances to extend the lead around the hour mark, firstly as he fired over having cut in from the flank and the second when played in with his back to goal by Sharp, though Lewis was equal to Copps’ eventual shot.
Towards the end of the game Rovers began to push again and only a goaline clearance from Jamie Day prevented them making it 3-1 from a corner. Shiels was next to threaten as he cut in from the left from a throw-in but his curling effort went just beyond the far post. The third goal did eventually come five minutes from time courtesy of the Shack Attack. Martin Woods near post corner met by a downward header from on loan central defender Jason Shackell to secure a much needed three points. The performance may not have had the fight of that at Bramall Lane, nor the fluidity of some of the early second half play against Barnsley but its an easily made sacrifice to get the side back to winning ways.
Doncaster Rovers line-up (4-2-2-2): Neil Sullivan; James O’Connor, Sam Hird, Jason Shackell, James Chambers; Simon Gillett, Martin Woods; Jamie Coppinger (John Oster), Dean Shiels; James Hayter (Lewis Guy), Billy Sharp (John Spicer)
subs not used: Gary Woods, Mustapha Dumbaya, Mark Wilson, Paul Heffernan
Peterborough United line-up (4-4-2); Joe Lewis; Tommy Rowe, Gabriel Zakuani, Craig Morgan, Jamie Day; Toumani Diagouraga (Lee Freklington), Chris Whelpdale, Danny Rose (Dean Keates), George Boyd (Charlie Lee); Craig Mackail-Smith, Aaron McClean
subs not used: James McKeown, Russell Martin, Krystian Pearce, Shaun Batt