Rovers FT: Charlton 1 Doncaster Rovers 3 (match abandoned)

James Husband and Reece Wabara sweeep off the rain as the game at Charlton is threatened

James Husband and Reece Wabara sweeep off the rain as the game at Charlton is threatened

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Doncaster Rovers suffered a frustrating afternoon, 3-1 up when the game was abandoned.

When a side has turned on superb performances against a pair of Championship big boys there will always be the fear they will not find the same energy and endeavour against one of the division’s lesser regarded sides.

There were to be no fears of any lacklustre showing from Rovers who were three goals up inside 23 minutes at the Valley.

In a cruel twist however, it appeared as though it would be the weather that would derail Rovers’ impressive run of form.

Mere minutes after racing into a stunning 3-0 lead, referee Collins suspended play due to the state of the pitch due to a torrential downpour which had battered it since prior to kick off.

For half an hour, Rovers supporters waited anxiously for the decision while the hosts willed for a decision which would break their side out of jail.

After a near half hour delay, it was Paul Dickov’s men who got their wish, with play resuming with them in a commanding position.

Neither side had a chance to acclimatise to the conditions in a wet South London when Rovers took the lead three minutes in.

Coppinger sent a teasing cross into the box and the unlikely figure of KEEGAN charged in untracked to power home a header at the back post.

Rovers looked threatening every time they went forward before the rain delay but Charlton began to find their feet in attack as the half wore on with Turnbull forced into a series of smart saves.

First he denied a fierce drive from Harriott, then a fine volley from Pritchard straight from a corner before palming away Morrison’s header from the subsequent corner.

Rovers delivered another suckerpunch to the hosts on 18 minutes when they doubled the lead.

Robinson beat the offside trap to find space on the left and drilled across the face of goal with BROWN charging in to sidefoot home from close range.

And five minutes later Rovers were in dreamland.

A Cotterill corner was headed back into the box, Wellens drilled a shot on goal which ricocheted back off Morrison to BROWN who headed home his second.

The hosts had the more enjoyable last 18 minutes of the half when play finally recommenced.

On 36 minutes they got their lifeline with a big assist from the pitch, Wellens stabbing a backpass under pressure with the ball stucking forCHURCH to turn smartly and slot home.

The poor conditions caused all sorts of frustration and Rovers were hit with another blow before the break as Keegan was sent off after two bookable offences, the second seeing him yank back the breaking Kermorgant.

HALF-TIME

Charlton............1

Rovers........... 3

It is safe to say the game was finely balanced at the break with the likelihood of mistakes in the second half suggesting there was a chance for the hosts to get back into it, particularly against ten men.

But the opportunity to see the game play out was removed when the referee appeared ahead of the players to abandon the game, infuriating Dickov who firmly disagreed with the manner in which the conditions were handled.

While Keegan’s one match ban is likely to stand, unfortunately for Rovers the other on-field incidents of the day will not when they return to the Valley to try again in a few weeks time.