Rovers FT: Leeds 1 Doncaster 2

Billy Sharp, who scored Rovers' second
Billy Sharp, who scored Rovers' second

Doncaster Rovers took another giant step towards Championship survival with their second derby win on successive Saturdays - winning 2-1 at Leeds United.

Whoever plays Leeds United these days knows they are set to take second stage to the latest sorry chapter in the proud club’s turbulent history.

You get the feeling that heading into a game largely unnoticed is exactly the way Rovers would have it.

A second away trip in a week and another one where the pressure was firmly on the hosts rather than a Rovers side edging closer to the safety mark.

Paul Dickov’s men certainly did not go unnoticed in the early stages of the derby clash. It was clear that Rovers had smelled blood before kick off and were determined to twist the knife.

They started with plenty of energy and clear intent. Play was high tempo, free kicks taken short and quickly as they looked to ask serious questions of Leeds.

And the hosts struggled to come up with the answers and seemed a yard off the pace set by Rovers over the first half hour.

Dickov’s men were camped in the Leeds half for the majority of that period, plugging away in the final third.

There was a small shout for a penalty when Wellens tumbled after a darting run into the box.

Leeds were largely restricted to shots from distance but there was a nervous moment when a Murphy shot from 30 yards kicked up off his own player only to bounce narrowly wide.

The fine interplay continued for Rovers and produced a fine chance when Cotterill and Sharp played a superb one-two with the Welshman’s subsequent low cross turned out for a corner with Brown waiting to pounce.

And a minute later, their early endeavour paid off. Coppinger played a ball out wide to COTTTERILL who was given the freedom of Elland Road to smash a shot from the corner of the box into the far top corner.

McCormack swung in a free kick from the left which evaded everyone and dropped just wide while Stewart shot from a similar position but sent the effort ovet the bar.

As the half entered stoppage time, Rovers cemented their lead.

After an excellent period of patient possession, SHARP picked up the ball on the edge of the area, turned Byram and fired into the bottom right corner past the wrong-footed Butland.

Leeds threatened in the remaining stoppage time with Johnstone forced into a fine save with his legs executed a diving header from six yards out.

And from the subsequent corner, Lees turned his header wide from a decent position.

Leeds sent on Tonge and White at half time to shuffle the midfield and it paid off as they started the second half in much brighter fashion.

Rovers struggled to force their way out of the own half with misplaced passes and poor clearances putting them under pressure over the first ten minutes.

Leeds had a big shout for a penalty on 58 minutes when Husband blocked a cross to cries of handball but referee Bond was unmoved.

The hosts found their way back into the game on 62 minutes.

A deep free kick was headed back across goal by Smith with McCORMACK pouncing unmarked to nod past Johnstone.

The goal lifted Leeds and their supporters and Rovers soon found themselves under plenty of pressure.

But they still threatened on the break and missed a glorious chance to ease the pressure on 67 minutes.

Coppinger’s low pass into the box to Sharp was cut out but the winger charged in only to blast his shot over the bar.

There was a let-off for Johnstone when he raced out of his area and pulled back McCormack as he tried to take him on. But referee Bond showed leniency and showed a yellow card.

From the subsequent free kick Lees rose well but sent his header wide.

Stewart tested Johnstone’s alertness with a shot from the edge of the box while McCormack drilled well over from ten yards as Leeds continued to pile on the pressure.

Their best chance came in stoppage time with McCormack dinking a cross and Smith rising only to head over the bar.

Rovers held on for only their second away win of the season.