Match report: Luton Town 3 Doncaster Rovers 1

Luton Town v Doncaster Rovers

Luton Town v Doncaster Rovers

3
Have your say

Doncaster Rovers were given a lesson in taking chances after their impressive run of form was ended at promotion rivals Luton Town.

Darren Ferguson's side missed several superb chances before James Coppinger gave them a 21st minute lead with his third goal in as many games.

But Luton fought back in ruthless style, turning the game on its head before the break with their first two efforts on goal, netted by Cameron McGeehan and Jack Marriott.

And McGeehan made sure the points remained in Bedfordshire when he smashed home from the spot after Joe Wright conceded a penalty.

Ferguson made one change to the side that beat Newport County, recalling the fit-again full back Frazer Richardson in place of Harry Middleton with Matty Blair moving into midfield.

Rovers should have been in front with mere seconds on the clock. John Marquis looked to need only the slightest of touches to turn Richardson's crossfield ball home from two yards at the back post but his header was far too tame and went agonisingly wide.

And Andy Williams missed a similarly gilt-edged chance moments later. Brilliant pressing from Rovers saw numerous attempted clearances blocked with one sitting up for Williams 12 yards out but his header bounced off the top of the bar.

Rovers finally did have the ball in the back of the net when Marquis side-footed past Christian Walton after another blocked clearance but he was flagged offside.

The high press from Rovers unsettled Luton, forcing numerous errors from the hosts' backline and saw them in full control of the opening quarter.

And they finally took the lead on 21 minutes. Marquis was looking for an overhead kick from a high cross into the box but the ball fell for Coppinger whose first attempt was blocked only for him to smash into the far corner from a tight angle.

Luton skipper Scott Cuthbert - who had suffered a nasty collision with Marquis earlier in the game - was stretchered off following the goal after seven minutes of medical attention.

Rovers had an excellent chance to double their advantage. Coppinger sent Williams galloping on goal but his first touch took him too wide for a shot and his cut back to Marquis was cut out for a corner.

But in the main, they looked much more unsettled by the long break in play than their hosts who grew into the game.

And Luton made their first real spell of pressure count when they equalised on 36 minutes.

Olly Lee zipped in a low cross from the right and McGeehan darted in at the back post to power a first-time effort past Marko Marosi.

Within five minutes the game was completely turned on its head as Luton went in front.

Marriott was played in one-on-one with Marosi on the right and slotted through the keeper's legs.

Rovers were shellshocked and lost all their rhythm as the hosts began to look much more comfortable on the ball.

As Luton pushed, Rovers withdrew deeper and deeper, only increasing the pressure on themselves as the half moved into 11 added minutes.

Luton started the second half much the more comfortable with Rovers struggling to find their feet.

McGeehan saw a shot deflect just wide of the top left corner after powering his way through several tackles.

Rovers' first real sight of goal in the second period came with a tame free kick from Tommy Rowe which cleared the wall but failed to trouble Walton.

Luton had an excellent chance to extend their advantage . Alan Sheehan strolled through the defence and stabbed a cross which Hylton nodded down to Marriott who scuffed his volley straight at Marosi.

Richardson had to be brave to block a close range effort from Johnny Mullins.

Ferguson threw on Mathieu Baudry for his Rovers debut alongside Riccardo Calder and switched to a 3-5-2 in an attempt to get back into the game.

But they struggled to find gaps in Luton's physical defence and the hosts, after their wobbles early in the game, looked rather comfortable.

And they were able to see out the last ten minutes in relative comfort after being gifted a third goal. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu darted into the box and was hacked down by Joe Wright with McGeehan smashing the resultant penalty into the roof of the net.

Blair lashed a fine effort from the corner of the box in a rare attempt by Rovers in eight minutes of added time but Walton saved with ease.

Luton finished the game with ten men as Hylton fell foul of more strict dissent laws, receiving a second yellow cards after comments to the assistant referee.

Marquis should have narrowed the margin deep in added time when meeting Coppinger's looping cross first time but side-footed straight at Walton.

Luton: Walton, Justin, Mullins, Cuthbert (Sheehan 28), Potts, Lee, Cook (Gray 38), Mpanzu, McGeehan (Gilliead 89), Marriott, Hylton. Subs not used: King, O'Donnell, Smith, Vassell.

Rovers: Marosi, Richardson (Baudry 65), Wright, Butler, Evina (Calder 65), Houghton, Blair, Rowe (Middleton 77), Coppinger, Marquis, Williams. Subs not used: Etheridge, Garratt, Mandeville, Beestin.

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 7,917 (554 away)

Back to the top of the page