Doncaster Rovers 3 Barnet 2: Best win of the season, is Fergie’s verdict

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson
1
Have your say

Doncaster Rovers snatched a stoppage-time winner against Barnet at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers had thrown away a 2-0 half-time lead, thanks to goals from James Coppinger and Matty Blair, as Martin Allen’s Barnet had battled back to 2-2.

But in the third minute of stoppage time, Blair’s superb run down the right ended with a cross which Andy Williams netted a dramatic winner.

The hosts started well, and took the lead after 15 minutes.

A right-wing cross was half cleared, and the ball fell perfectly for James Coppinger to volley it in from 20 yards.

It was a deserved lead for Rovers, who looked the better team.

One of Barnet’s main threats was the huge throw from Sam Muggleton, looking for the giant figure of striker John Akinde.

From on such throw-in, it found former Sheffield United winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce but Jean-Louis Akpa Alpro was off target with his overhead kick.

Matty Blair doubled Doncaster’s lead after a superb run down the right flank.

The former York City midfielder played a clever one-two with Andy Williams, breaking clear of Barnet’s static defence, and tucking the ball beyond visiting goalkeeper Josh Vickers.

Akinde had a rare chance for Barnet to threaten, but the striker was thwarted by Marko Marosi in Rovers’ goal.

Rovers came close to adding a third goal before half-time, Coppinger’s effort deflected wide for a corner, before Tommy Rowe went close for the hosts.

Marosi had to be alert to deny a Bondz N’Gala header, before Bira Dembele poked the ball wide, as Barnet made a good start to the second half.

It was direct football from Barnet, who were denied by the crossbar, before they pulled a goal back when another Muggleton throw was headed in by Dembele.

Marosi saved Rovers, tipping substitute Justin Amaluzor’s goal-bound shot for a corner, before Andy Williams broke upfield and should have done better but Dembele cleared the danger.

Barnet got the equaliser they had been threatening in the 86th minute, substitute Luke Gambin firing inside the far post after a low cross from the left flank.

It looked to be two dropped points for Darren Ferguson’s team, but they snatched a late winner.

Deep into five minutes added time, Blair pushed down the right flank, before his cross was converted by Williams.

“We’ve shown the belief that we are going to win games,” Ferguson said.

“We had it last week at Portsmouth and we had it after it went to 2-2 against Barnet.

“The momentum was with Barnet but we’ve gone and won it.

“It’s probably, because of the way the game transpired, the best win of the season really. To win it in the last minute, everyone goes home happy.

“It just became really scrappy in the second half but a win’s a win.”

Rovers: Marosi, Mason, Butler, Wright, Evina, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger, Mandeville, Williams. Substitutes: Etheridge, Baudry, Calder, Middleton, Beestin, Garratt, Longbottom.

Barnet: Vickers, Dembele, N’Gala, Nelson, Watson, Akinde, Campbell-Ryce, Togwell, Muggleton, Akpa Akpro, Vilhete. Substistutes: Stephens, Sesay, Gambin, Nicholls, Taylor, Amaluzor, Payne.

Referee: T Kettle.