MATCH REPORT: DONCASTER ROVERS 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0
Cambridge United were edged out 1-0 by Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium in Sky Bet League Two, with John Marquis registering a second half winner for the home side.
Despite an improved performance from Saturday’s defeat to Colchester by Shaun Derry’s men they were unable to find a response in South Yorkshire, with the Dons holding firm through 13 minutes of second half stoppage time.
The U’s made four changes to the side from four days earlier, with Keane, Clark, Coulson and Elito returning to the starting line up to kick off in amber and black.
United began the game with a chance inside thirty seconds, as Luke Berry lifted the ball over the Doncaster defender for Williamson to run onto, but the striker could only volley wide from an awkward angle.
The hosts then had the opportunity to open the scoring on nine minutes from the penalty spot after referee Darren Handley adjudged Sean Long to have mistimed a tackle on John Marquis inside the U’s 18 yard box.
Will Norris stood a menacing figure in the U’s goal however and blocked Marquis’ strike with knees to ensure the game remained scoreless.
In fact the U’s shot stopper went on to have an inspired first half, keeping the Dons at bay up to the break, saving a bullet header from Rovers captain James Coppinger before showing his sharp reactions to block Tommy Rowe’s drilled shot moments later.
A series of Max Clark set piece deliveries caused the home side issues up to the hour mark, where one of the strangest breaks in play took place after assistant referee Helen Byrne was taken ill on 58 minutes and the search for a replacement fourth official occurred across the Keepmoat Stadium.
When the match restarted, the Dons ramped the pressure up on Shaun Derry’s men and moments after Marquis had seen a shot blocked by Dallison, the big striker broke the deadlock with a header into the ground from four yards out having met Matty Blair’s cross at pace.
Williamson came close to levelling on 77 minutes, when good work down the right wing from Elito and Mingoia finished with the latter whipping a fine cross onto the head of the striker, but the former Gillingham man was unable to keep his header on target.
United had a hefty 13 minutes of added time to find a way to grind a result from the game, but it was keeper Will Norris who kept them in it on 93 minutes when he pulled off a fantastic one on one save against Marquis, who threatened to kill off the fixture.
Second half substitute Conor Newton came so close to registering the U’s equaliser, when a mix up at the back from Doncaster gifted the midfielder the ball in the middle of the Rover’s 18 yard box, only for Andy Butler to block his effort off the goal line. It proved to be United’s final opportunity and they fell to just their second defeat in 11 competitive matches.
Cambridge United: Norris, Long, Dallison, Coulson, Keane (Newton, 74 mins), Mingoia, Dunne (Pigott, 78 mins), Clark, Berry, Elito, Williamson
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Lund, Wright, Butler, Garratt (Evina, 45 mins), Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger, Marouis, Williams
Attendance: 4,768 (393 away)