Story of the game as timid Doncaster Rovers exit Papa John's Trophy at Crewe

Doncaster Rovers are on a break from their struggles in the league as they visit Crewe Alexandra in the Papa John’s Trophy – and you can follow the action as it happens.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 11:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 9:30 am
Gresty Road, home of Crewe Alexandra

Join us from Gresty Road as we bring full coverage of this knockout clash between the bottom two sides in League One. Remember to REFRESH regularly for the latest updates.

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LIVE: Crewe Alexandra 2 Doncaster Rovers 0

Last updated: Wednesday, 01 December, 2021, 21:46

GOAL: Knight (33), Finney (72)

CREWE: Jaaskelainen; Thomas, Offord, Knight, Ainley (Johnson 46), Mandron, Finney, Murphy, Gomes (Lundstram 46), Woodthorpe (Tabiner 77), O’Riordan. Subs: Richards, Adebisi, Long, Sass-Davies.

ROVERS: Jones; Knoyle, Anderson, Olowu, Horton (Rowe 46); Galbraith, Smith; Cukur, Barlow (Hasani 56), Hiwula; Dodoo. Subs: Dahlberg, Blythe, Faulkner, Ravenhill, Kuleya.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)

OVER AND OUT

Rovers’ participation in the Papa John’s Trophy is over for another season after a thoroughly frustrating second half performance where they failed to build on their decent attacking play in the opening period.

Crewe played their part, pressing well to deny Rovers the space they enjoyed in the first half.

But Rovers failed to produce the zippiness in the play that gave them plenty of joy in the build-up.

What they lacked throughout was the quality of touch, thought and execution in the final third as their struggles in front of goal go on.

It’s a disappointing one - and it puts more pressure on getting a result in the FA Cup this weekend.

9.40pm ALL OVER

9.37pm ADDED TIME

THREE minutes

89min CHANCE

Tavonga Kuleya picks the ball up in space inside the box and gets a low drive away but it deflects wide.

Rovers have produced more attacking play in the last few minutes of the half than they have in all the previous 40 or so minutes.

72min GOAL CREWE

Oli Finney doubles the hosts’ advantage with a header from a corner.

It was easy for him to rise and drop a header across goal to find the far corner.

And it’s a long way back for Rovers.

71min YELLOW CARD

Tom Anderson, Doncaster Rovers

69min OFF THE BAR

A looping effort flies over the head of the Rovers defence and strikes the top of the bar. Ben Knight picks up the loose ball and smashes a ball across the face of goal.

68min SUBSTITUTION

Tavonga Kuleya replaces Tiago Cukur

61min SHOULD BE LEVEL

Rovers recycle possession really well as Tommy Rowe puts a superbly weighted ball across the face of goal that is begging to be attacked. Jordy Hiwula looks best placed to do that but is caught flatfooted when the slightest of touches would have done.

56min SUBSTITUTION

Lirak Hasani replaces Aidan Barlow for Rovers

50min EARLY DANGER

Joseph Olowu switches off and fails to see Oli Finney behind him as he looks to defend a ball forward. Finney nicks the ball away and picks out Ben Knight. The lively forward looks to pick his spot but curls narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

8.50pm BACK UNDERWAY

Aidan Barlow takes the kick-off and we’re back up and running

HALF TIME CHANGE

Tommy Rowe replaces Branden Horton for Rovers

DECENT PERFORMANCE, BUT BEHIND

Rovers have played pretty well in this game. They’ve been the better attacking outfit, played some decent football and have shown good tenacity to keep pushing forward when chances look to have broken down.

What has let them down has been the final piece of the puzzle.

And they’ve been punished by falling behind to a wonder strike.

They’re still well in this tie but they’ve got to make the pressure count.

8.32pm THAT’S THE BREAK

And Rovers find themselves a goal down at half time

8.29pm ADDED TIME

THREE minutes

45min YELLOW CARD

Kyle Knoyle, Doncaster Rovers

39min CHANCE

Aidan Barlow receives the ball on the corner of the box and curls a shot which flies just past the far post. Rovers have kept the pressure on well.

33min GOAL CREWE

Ben Knight curls in an absolute stunner to put the hosts ahead.

He picked the ball up 35 yards out, pushed forward and curled a powerful shot into the top corner that Louis Jones could do nothing about.

30min BIG SAVE

Louis Jones bats away a dangerous effort from Nathan Woodthorpe as Crewe put the pressure on. It was a bit of a mistake from the Rovers keeper that created the danger as he pushed a shot straight into the path of Madger Gomes, who scuffed his clear shot to Woodthorpe.

25min POSITIVE START

Rovers have looked decent over the first quarter of what has been a pretty open game. They’ve worked the ball well

16min OFF THE BAR

Mikael Mandron rises at the far post and turns a header onto the bar. Louis Jones could do little but watch and hope. Mandron was afforded far too much space to rise.

10min COMING TOGETHER

Joe Dodoo finds space on the right, close to the byline and stabs in a cross but Tiago Cukur and Aidan Barlow both rise together and get in each others’ way as they look to head home.

6min GOOD BUILD-UP

Rovers work space down the right where Aidan Barlow has plenty of space to pick his spot as he delivers a dangerous ball that Jordy Hiwula just couldn’t quite reach.

5min CHANCE

Callum Ainley leaves Branden Horton a little flat footed as he cuts in off the right. He curls a shot on goal from just inside the box but it is a simple save for Louis Jones.

4min STEADY START

Some patient play from Rovers in these early stages. They’re keeping the ball well and pushing and probing in the opposition half.

7.44pm UNDERWAY

Luke Murphy takes the kick-off for Crewe

THE TEAM IS IN

And it’s THREE changes from the side that started the defeat at Burton Albion.

Louis Jones comes back into the side, seeing Pontus Dahlberg drop to the bench along with Tommy Rowe while Ben Close misses out through injury.

Coming into the side is Joseph Olowu - whose suspension does not cover this competition - and Tiago Cukur.

Barring the additions of Dahlberg and Rowe, the bench is the same as Saturday.

AND THE HOSTS

who include former Rovers midfielder Madger Gomes from the start

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