Crewe 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: Coppinger plunders point for Doncaster

James Coppinger, who scored Doncaster Rovers' equaliser against Crewe, saw this shot tipped over (Picture: Steve Uttley).
James Coppinger, who scored Doncaster Rovers' equaliser against Crewe, saw this shot tipped over (Picture: Steve Uttley).
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James Coppinger struck late on to spare Doncaster Rovers’ blushes away to League One’s bottom side Crewe Alexandra.

Crewe had gone into the lead after 30 minutes when on-loan Watford striker Uche Ikpeazu fired home.

But if the Railwaymen thought it would be sufficient to see off Rovers, Coppinger proved otherwise as he pounced from close range to earn the visitors a point.

Rovers started the game the better of the two and both Nathan Tyson and Curtis Main had early efforts on goal.

Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt produced an excellent save to deny Coppinger from Main’s cross.

From the subsequent corner Tyson wasted an excellent opportunity, volleying over when he had time and space to do better.

Kyle Bennett had ensured Crewe did not make the most of their first meaningful attack when he superbly marshalled Nicky Ajose.

Crewe seized the advantage on the half hour out of nothing when Ikpeazu was allowed to turn and drill a shot low under the body of Sam Johnstone.

Ajose could have doubled the lead but volleyed wastefully wide after a mistake from Paul Keegan.

Rovers started the second period brightly, but were restricted to efforts from long range from Richie Wellens, Paul Keegan and Kyle Bennett.

Ikpeazu saw another decent effort saved by Johnstone after a barn-storming run from half way as Crewe threatened on the counter attack.

Visiting manager Paul Dickov threw on Theo Robinson, Harry Forrester and Dean Furman, who each offered good energy.

However, the visitors were struggling to threaten a well-drilled Crewe backline, Main and Forrester both seeing further efforts from distance sail over.

Just when Doncaster appeared to be running out of ideas they levelled matters.

From Forrester’s right-wing corner, Garratt saved superbly from Luke McCullough but Coppinger was on hand to prod home the rebound.

Forrester and Main flashed shots wide as Rovers threatened to grab a late winner, but Dickov’s men had to make do with a point.

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt; Davis, Ray, Dugdale, Leigh (Guthrie 72); Turton, Bailie, Ness, Grant, Ikpeazu (Haber 72), Ajose (Inman 90). Unused substitutes: Shearer, Guthrie, Atkinson, Cooper, Tate.

Doncaster Rovers: Johnstone; Wabara, Butler, McCullough, Stevens; Coppinger, Wellens, Keegan (Furman 72), Bennett (Forrester 65); Tyson (Robinson 59), Main. Unused substitutes: Marosi, McCombe, De Val, Wakefield.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Man of the match: James Coppinger.