RECAP: Morecambe 4 Doncaster Rovers 3 - Rovers surrender three-goal lead as Shrimps complete incredible comeback

It doesn’t get much bigger than this for Doncaster Rovers as they begin the Gary McSheffrey era in earnest with a huge game at Morecambe – and you can follow it all as it happens.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 4:59 pm
Morecambe's Mazuma Stadium. Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

Join us from the Mazuma Stadium for a relegation six pointer as Rovers look to mark the start of McSheffrey’s tenure as they mean to go on.

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The Mazuma Stadium, home of Morecambe FC

LIVE: Morecambe 4 Rovers 3

Last updated: Sunday, 02 January, 2022, 16:56

MATCH DETAILS

GOALS: Barlow (7), Gardner (26), Olowu (29), Stockton (52, 74), Obika (83), Diagouraga (85)

MORECAMBE: Letheren; McLaughlin, O’Connor, Gibson, Leigh; Diagouraga, McCalmont (Wildig 46), McLoughlin; Gnahoua (Obika 78), Stockton, Ayunga (Cooney 90). Subs: Andresson, Jones, Delaney, Nicholson.

ROVERS: Jones; Knoyle, Olowu, Rowe, Horton; Smith, Galbraith, Gardner (Ravenhill 46); Barlow (Cukur 61), Bogle (Dodoo 34), Hiwula. Subs: Dahlberg, Williams, Blythe, Hasani.

REFEREE: James Bell

ATTENDANCE: 4,001 (392 away)

Hammering home the size of the task

What will this afternoon do for Rovers’ season from here?

We were asking that question at half time for entirely different reasons than we are now at full time.

So good, so positive, so aggressive, so much attacking intent and so much ruthlessness in the first half to open up a comfortable 3-0 lead.

And simply anything but all that after the break when they simply could not handle the Morecambe fightback and crumbled to somehow lose from that position.

Picking them up off the floor will not be easy task.

4.53pm ALL OVER

And, after leading 3-0 at half time, Rovers have been beaten 4-3. Disastrous, all ends up

4.47pm ADDED TIME

FIVE minutes

85min GOAL Morecambe

Toumani Diagouraga smashes in from the edge of the box to complete the turnaround for the hosts.

An absolute hammerblow for Rovers, who have barely had a kick in this second half.

83min GOAL Morecambe

Jonathan Obika equalises for the hosts. Absolute disaster for Rovers.

78min Should have scored

Rovers really should have reestablished their cushion thank to a rare breakaway.

Joe Dodoo got clear down the left and cut into the box. He hesitated over his decision and eventually played across to Tiago Cukur but the Turkish U21 international could not get a shot away.

They won’t get many better chances to ease the pressure.

74min GOAL Morecambe

Cole Stockton narrows the gap to one for the hosts. Can’t say it’s not been coming.

Jordy Hiwula was caught on the ball 35 yards from goal with the ball fed into the box. Shane McLoughlin drilled the ball across the box, Stockton saw an initial effort blocked but drilled his follow-up home.

It’s going to be a long 15 minutes,

72min Big save

A ball is fed into the box for Cole Stockton who brings it under control, turns and drills a shot which Louis Jones bats away at his near post.

67min Another chance for the hosts

Rovers are under the cosh here and are really struggling to halt the flow of Morecambe attacks.

It was another good ball into the box from the right and Greg Leigh rose well but headed over the bar.

64min Big chance

Morecambe had a huge opportunity to close the gap further as Ryan McLaughlin delivered a superb free kick into the box and Cole Stockton stooped to meet it in space but flicked his header just wide.

64min Yellow card

Jordy Hiwula

61min Substitution

Tiago Cukur replaces the injured Aidan Barlow

57min Big block

Branden Horton blocks a goalbound shot from Arthur Gnahoua. Jordy Hiwula looked to claim a clearance but ended up racing back towards his own goal and lost the ball which led to the chance.

Rovers are facing a bit of a storm here from the hosts.

52min GOAL Morecambe

The visitors pull a goal back.

Liam Gibson sent the ball back into the box after Rovers had cleared a long throw and Anthony O’Connor headed the ball back across goal and Cole Stockton fires in from close range.

This is where the test starts.

4.02pm Back underway

Matt Smith gets the second half started

Half time substitution

Liam Ravenhill replaces Dan Gardner

Superb first half

That was pretty good as first halves go.

Rovers have shown real ruthlessness in front of goal to take command of this game. And more importantly the attacking intent, confidence and bravery have been superb.

They’ve not had it all their own way and have come under pressure during various periods of the half, but they have defended pretty well when they’ve needed to.

They’ve looked to get the ball forward quickly, countered really well and moved the ball excellently.

Dan Gardner and Aidan Barlow have both been superb additions to the side this afternoon.

There’s so much positivity and aggressive intentions. It’s great.

3.47pm That’s the break

And Rovers are in dreamland at 3-0

3.45pm Added time

TWO minutes

44min Plucked out of the air

Jonah Ayunga heads the ball across the box and Greg Leigh turns a header on goal but it’s a simple claim for Louis Jones under his bar.

41min Wide

Dan Gardner brings the ball under control really well and runs into the box before drilling wide of the far post.

36min Over the bar

Rovers counter from a Morecambe free kick with Jordy Hiwula feeding in Aidan Barlow, who carries the ball forward and unleashes a curling shot which flies over.

34min Substitution

Dodoo does replace Bogle

33min Change coming

It looks as though Omar Bogle has done his hamstring. Joe Dodoo is being prepared to come on.

29min GGGGGGOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!! ROVERS!!!

ANOTHER!!

And it’s Joseph Olowu!!

A short corner routine found Matt Smith who dinked a cross from the byline with Olowu stooping to head in from close range.

Wow!

26min GGGGGGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!! ROVERS!!

Dan Gardner!

They pushed forward well and looked to have lost the opportunity when Omar Bogle was crowded out on the edge of the box. But the ball was worked out to Branden Horton, who beat his man on the left and chipped the ball into the box.

Gardner latched onto the ball, brought it down and shifted it onto his left foot before drilling a shot straight through the keeper.

Letheren should perhaps have done better but it’s superb for Rovers and the supporters behind the goal are in great voice.

24min Poor effort

Morecambe get a free kick in a very dangerous position on the edge of the box but Alfie McCalmont dinks the ball over the bar.

18min Wide

Morecambe’s Cole Stockton goes for an audacious overhead kick from the edge of the box after chesting the ball down but he the effort drops wide.

16min Hard work

Rovers are working their socks off in the middle of the park to prevent Morecambe from getting on the ball with any real purpose. The three behind Bogle are closing players down really well and it’s helping Rovers’ cause no end.

14min Threat

Morecambe’s Jonah Ayunga gets a free header from a corner and looked to put it towards the far post but sends it wide.

7min GGGGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!! ROVERS!!!!

Aidan Barlow fires Rovers ahead!

It came from an all mighty scramble from a corner, superbly delivered in by Branden Horton.

Rovers had packed players in the six yard box and there was a huge melee in the box when the ball came in. Rovers had about three bites of the cherry, trying to force the ball over the line before Barlow popped up at the back post and scooped it into the roof of the net.

It’s been a cracking start for Rovers - and Barlow in particular.

4min Even better

Rovers remain on the front foot after the Barlow chance and he gets another opportunity moments later.

He latches onto a pass from Dan Garnder, beats his man and powers into the area but his effort is a simple one for Morecambe keeper Kyle Letheren to save.

It’s been a real show of intent so far from Rovers.

3min Big chance

Ethan Galbraith plays a great ball outside to Kyle Knoyle who gets the early cross in, but it’s behind Ethan Galbraith who can only hook a tame effort on goal.

3.00pm UNDERWAY

Morecambe’s Shaun McLoughlin takes the kick-off and we’re up and running

TEAMS OUT

THE TEAM IS IN

It’s FOUR changes from the side that started the defeat to Sunderland.

Out go Ben Blythe, Liam Ravenhill, Lirak Hasani and Joe Dodoo.

In come Ethan Galbraith, Aidan Barlow, Dan Gardner and Omar Bogle.

A first league start of the season for Bogle - whose only previous start came in the League Cup against Walsall.

AND THE HOSTS

WET AND WINDY

Will the conditions play a part today.

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