Doncaster Rovers 2 Rochdale 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 21 October 2003

Doncaster chalked up their sixth win in seven games and Rochdale were fortunate to escape without a hiding following the 2-1 result at Belle Vue.

The final score flattered the visitors who could have taken a pasting as Rovers dominated a one-sided match.

But Rochdale survived thanks to a mixture of good luck and excellent goalkeeping from Neil Edwards who kept the home side at bay with a string of fine saves.

Edwards had no chance when Rovers raced into the lead, however, after just two minutes.

Michael McIndoe and Gregg Blundell combined cleverly to set up the chance for Francis Tierney who slotted the ball home in fine style from just inside the box.

Doncaster's joy was short-lived when they were made to pay for a rare moment of slackness a couple of minutes later.

On-loan winger Chris Shuker crossed from the left and Kevin Townson nipped in to fire home from close range as the Rover defence hesitated.

Townson missed a good chance to put Rochdale ahead in the seventh minute and Shuker fired just wide after dribbling past a couple of defenders nine minutes later.

But the rest of the match belonged to Doncaster who applied relentless pressure and pinned the visitors deep into their own half.

Rovers went close on countless occasions with Tim Ryan and Steve Foster being foiled by splendid saves from Edwards.

Blundell and McIndoe both went close before Paul Green forced another super save from Edwards.

Doncaster appeared to have made the breakthrough when Edwards could only parry a scorching shot from the impressive John Doolan and Blundell fired home the rebound only to be ruled offside.

It looked as if Rochdale might hang on, but Rovers' persistence was rewarded when on loan teenager Chris Brown notched his third goal in four games in the 74th minute after substitute Leo Fortune-West had set up the chance.

Rochdale had a couple of chances to level the scores in the last minute with Gareth Griffiths and Mickael Antoine-Curier having shots cleared off the line but anything other than a Doncaster win would have been an absolute travesty.

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