Crewe Alexandra 2 Doncaster Rovers 1: Winning run hits the buffers at Crewe

Doncaster Rovers' four-game winning run came to an end at Crewe in agonising fashion.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 3rd September 2016, 5:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd September 2016, 5:16 pm
Crewe v Rovers
Crewe v Rovers

Crewe led against the run of play through Ryan Lowe's first half header.

Tommy Rowe levelled from the spot in the 82nd minute after Rovers had threw the kitchen sink at their hosts, only for James Jones to then fire home a late winner for Crewe.

The defeat - almost a carbon copy of how Rovers lost on the opening day at Accrington Stanley - left Darren Ferguson's men wondering how on earth they failed to win the game let alone draw it.

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Doncaster had 16 shots to Crewe's six, and the home side's goal led a charmed life at times. However, Rovers were again left to rue some poor defending for both goals.

Rovers enjoyed more possession and created several good chances in the first half but went in at the break trailing to Lowe's 14th minute header.

Andy Williams wasted a glorious chance at 0-0 when he got in behind but his shot lacked power and was easily saved by Ben Garratt.

Crewe's main threat came on the break and they broke the deadlock when Charlie Dagnall was played in down the right and delivered a sublime cross for Lowe to gratefully nod home.

James Coppinger could have levelled almost immediately but poked Cedric Evina's cross just wide.

John Marquis then headed a Coppinger cross narrowly wide before, on the half hour mark, the visitors squandered their best opportunity. Marquis broke excellently from half way and had Williams in space waiting for a tap-in but his cross was too far in front of his strike partner.

Doncaster should have been level but just before the break they were fortunate not to go two down when the hosts, who were defending deep and trying to break on Rovers, had men over on the counter attack but the lively George Cooper's ball was too heavy for Dagnall.

Crewe offered more attacking threat upon the re-start and Marko Marosi had to make two excellent saves to keep it at 1-0. The Slovakian stood tall to keep out Dagnall following a long ball over the top, and then was at full length to keep out Dagnall's diving header after a lovely ball in from Cooper.

At the other end Garratt also had to make an excellent save to keep out a looping header from Matty Blair, while a well-worked free kick saw Coppinger's goal-bound effort blocked.

Rovers threw caution to the wind in the closing stages and only a last ditch block Zoumana Bagayoko prevented Marquis equalising and Crewe somehow escaped a frenetic goalmouth scramble.

The visitors' pressure eventually paid off when they were awarded a late penalty for an infringement by Harry Davis and Rowe coolly tucked home the spot kick.

However, Rovers shot themselves in the foot when Crewe broke on 87 minutes and stole all three points when a ball in from the left fell to Jones who fired past Marosi.

Rovers: Marosi, Richardson (Calder 70), Wright (Middleton 70), Butler, Evina, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger, Marquis, Williams. Subs not used: Etheridge, Mandeville, Besstin, Pugh, Fielding.

Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Davis, Bakayogo, Cooper (Ray 79), Hollands, Jones, Kiwomya (Bingham 79), Lowe, Dagnall, Subs not used: Richards, Nugent, Saunders, Kirk, Ainley.

Referee: Lee Probert (South Gloucestershire)

Attendance: 3,830