Doncaster Rovers 2 Coventry City 0 - Rovers secure last play-off spot

Rovers players celebrate clinching a play-off spot
Rovers players celebrate clinching a play-off spot
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DONCASTER ROVERS booked their place in the League One play-offs thanks to a 2-0 victory over Coventry City.

Goals in each half from Kieran Sadlier and John Marquis proved enough to earn the three points required to hold off Peterborough United in the race for sixth place.

Rovers will now face Charlton Athletic over two legs in the semi-finals, the first tie to take place at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday May 12.

In the other tie, Sunderland will go head-to-head with Portsmouth for a place in the Wembley final.

The final whistle was the cue for hundreds of Doncaster fans invade the pitch in celebration. They were soon joined by a smaller number of Coventry supporters clearly intent on trouble. They had to be forced back by the police wielding batons.

Order was restored quickly and this allowed the Rovers players to return for a lap of honour in front of those in the 12,794 crowd who had remained behind.

Slow start

Rovers had started the game slowly. But for the anticipation of Danny Andrew after only two minutes, Coventry’s Brandon Mason would have been through on goal rather than halted with a sublime tackle.

Gradually, though, the hosts settled down and deserved to make the all-important breakthrough just after the half hour.

Fine skill out wide on the right flank by Malik Wilks saw the on-loan Leeds United man create sufficient space to curl over an exquisite cross for Sadlier to head in at the back post.

Just minutes earlier, Marquis had tested the reflexes of Lee Burge in the Coventry goal with a drilled effort from 20 yards.

Burge also had to save smartly from Wilks later in the first half, while Marquis fired narrowly wide just before the interval.

Nerves among the home players became more apparent, the longer the game wore on.

Marko Marosi had to beat away a Jordy Hiwula shot, while substitute Conor Chaplin wasted a great opportunity when he shot high and wide after latching on to a weak defensive header.

There were still chances for Rovers to effectively kill off Coventry’s hopes but Herbie Kane overhit a pass to Marquis.

As Coventry piled forward for the equaliser, the fear was Doncaster could be hit by a late suckerpunch.

But, instead, Marquis settled all nerves five minutes from time by forcing the ball over the line after his initial header had been blocked on the line by Burge.