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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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17 February 2021 Venue The Keepmoat Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

REPORT: Doncaster Rovers 0 Stanley 1

Smyth's winner moves the Reds into sixth spot

17 February 2021

Paul Smyth scored his first goal since his return on loan to Accrington Stanley from QPR in January as the Reds returned to winning ways against promotion-rivals Doncaster.

The Keepmoat has been a fortress for Rovers this season – they have the second best record at home in the league, with seven wins in their last nine home games prior to tonight.

However Smyth’s goal on 42 minutes was enough to settle the encounter and give the Reds a welcome three points – and they moved into the Play-Off spots -  after three games without a win.

For the third game running, John Coleman started with the same eleven while Doncaster, who had lost their previous two games, had two former Reds loanees in their ranks in skipper Joe Wright and Brad Halliday.

Doncaster started well, Halliday had an early chance but chose to pass and not shoot in a good position, Rovers appealed for a penalty and Omar Bogle forced the first save out of Nathan Baxter on eight minutes.

Taylor Richards had a couple of shots from distance but they didn’t trouble Baxter.

Stanley started to come into it with Adam Phillips getting his head to a ball but keeper Ellery Balcombe collected it while, on 26 minutes, a Phillips corner found Ben Barclay and Balcombe dived late to push it around the goal.

Dion Charles had a couple of chances as he looked to increase his 14-goal tally and the Reds had a number of shots blocked.

Stanley opened the scoring on 42 minutes when Matt Butcher fed Smyth, the QPR loanee raced into the area and took a shot, it deflected off Wright and into the net. Cue the trademark backflip celebration!

The Reds started the second half well with Barclay almost getting a touch at the far post for a certain goal.

At the other end Baxter came out quickly to deny Bogle from close range while Balcombe did superbly well to keep out a Seamus Conneely goalbound strike following a scramble.

Reece James was kept out by a combination of Baxter and the woodwork as Doncaster began to press, they forced a couple of corners and Cameron Burgess did superbly to almost head the ball off the goalline.

Stanley then enjoyed a spell of pressure as Balcombe produced a superb double save to keep out firstly a low drive from Charles and then a follow-up from Smyth from a tight angle.

Charles then had another go from distance which the Rovers keeper had to push out as both side’s enjoyed spells of pressure.

Baxter wasn’t troubled with a Josh Sims header off-target with ten minutes to go and James shot over the crossbar on 86 minutes.

In the last minute, the Reds defence had to clear a ball off the line as Rovers looked for an equaliser but Stanley held on to occupy sixth spot.

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