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18 August 2018 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: DONCASTER ROVERS

18 August 2018

LIAM Boyce fired the Brewers to a first league win of the season as high flying Doncaster Rovers were sent back to South Yorkshire empty handed after a free flowing game at the Pirelli Stadium.

The Irishman's 47th minute finish was clinical and came after some superb play from Scott Fraser opening up the Rovers defence and allowing the Albion hitman to fire unerringly in off the post.

Doncaster, with eight goals in their previous three games had chances throughout the game but could not find a clinical finish with John Marquis guilty of a couple of bad misses from good positions.

After the Carabao Cup victory over Shrewsbury Town in midweek which had been a confidence booster to all in the squad, there was just one change for the visit of in-form Rovers. Boyce returned to lead the attack in place of David Templeton who notched his first goal in Albion colours on his debut. Lucas Akins switched to the right hand side of an attacking three to accommodate the return of Boyce.

A cagey opening saw both sides battling to gain the upper hand in midfield. Joe Sbarra had the first real shot in anger in the tenth minute finding himself a pocket of space to drive towards the edge of the box and let fly with a left foot shot that went wide of Marko Marosi's goal.

The evergreen James Coppinger found himself in space down Albion's right hand side shortly afterwards, his low cross fizzing through the box as John Marquis and Jake Buxton tussled at the near post.

Sbarra was starting to have quite an influence and a smart link up with Boyce created a chance for Scott Fraser, the Scot just unable to get the ball out from his feet allowing Joe Wright to get in a timely block.

Doncaster immediately responded by breaking up the other end with Leeds loanee Mallik Wilks finding room to deliver a cross to the back post. John Marquis got up well to head back across goal but with Bywater beaten, Kyle McFadzean was there was clear the danger on the line.

Sbarra had another attempt on goal on twenty minutes after some more neat approach play. Fraser picked up on a loose clearance from the Rovers back line but opted to pass rather than shoot, teeing the young Academy product up for a curling effort from the edge of the box which was always going too high.

Doncaster almost paid the price for some ponderous defending on 28 minutes. Andy Butler was caught in possession by Fraser who harried the Rovers man into giving the ball away . Again Fraser passed up the opportunity to go for goal himself instead setting up Sordell for a raking drive from distance that was not far wide as MArosi scrambled across his goal.

Marquis was close again to a low cross through the box on the half hour mark. Niall Mason this time the provider from the right hand side as the Donny striker once again found himself just unable to make meaningful contact at the near post.

When the Doncaster striker did eventually make meaningful contact with a cross he managed to make a real hash of it. Albion were carved open allowing Liverpool loanee Herbie Kane to get in behind and pull the ball back across the box for his team mate. With the goal pretty much at his mercy, Marquis sidefooted wide from no more than ten yards out.

Sbarra had been struggling with what appeared to be an ankle problem after an innocuous challenge in midfield after a couple of stoppages for him to receive attention he finally succumbed on 41 minutes with David Templeton sent on and Lucas Akins showing his versatility by dropping into a midfield role.

Midfielder Ben Whiteman blazed a couple of efforts over the bar as half time approached but this one was definitely still all to play for in the second half.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Doncaster Rovers

Albion made the perfect start to the second half, breaking the deadlock just ninety seconds after the restart. Some exquisite footwork in midfield enabled Fraser to get away from his man and drive for the box. Once again he elected to slip in a team mate, BOYCE the beneficiary, taking a touch to control before firing past Marosi and in off the far post. A third in three league games for the Albion talisman.

Doncaster quickly tried to respond with Joe Wright, up from the back, thumping a header wide from Danny Andrew's curling cross as the visitors kept the pressure on the Burton goal from a hastily cleared corner.

Rovers went for a double change just before the hour mark with wingers Paul Taylor and Matty Blair sent on in place of Coppinger and Kane as Rovers faced up to being behind in a game for the first time this season.

It was Wilks who was loking the greatest threat for Rovers as his pace continued to cause concerns for Ben Turner at left back. Another pacy and mazy run got him into the box on 62 minutes but his final cross shot took a faint deflection and went wide of the far post. Another good chance for the free scoring Rovers gone begging.

Marquis flashed a shot wide when a kindly deflection from Turner laid the ball into his path and the striker was denied a clean strike on goal by Turner getting back to cover when a raking crossfield pass found him in space on the right hand side.

Albion composed themselves and started to play more in the Doncaster half and Boyce was close to a second stretching to head a Turner cross towards goal but just too close to Marosi who gratefully dropped onto the ball on his line.

Doncaster had a great chance to equalise when Wilks was brought down right on the edge of the box by John Brayford's challenge. Substitute Taylor took control of the free kick but after taking a deflection off Albion's defensive wall Bywater was able to gather the ball in safely almost on his line.

Rovers final substitution, Alfie May, almost got in behind the Brewers defence onto a long ball but Bywater was out quickly to get there on the edge of the box first and clear the danger away as Donny continued to press late on.

Rovers sent their keeper up at the end for a flurry of corners and throw ins but Albion held firm to record their first league victory of the season.

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