Report: Doncaster Rovers vs. Bolton Wanderers

Goals either side of half time from Fejiri Okenabirhie and Niall Ennis gave hosts Doncaster Rovers a narrow victory at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Joe Dodoo’s second half effort gave Wanderers hope of salvaging a point after Rovers two-goal lead was halved.

Manager Keith Hill made two changes from the side that narrowly to Coventry City at the weekend with Jack Hobbs and Joe Dodoo replacing Toto Nsiala and Dennis Politic.

Hobbs was pressed into action early on when he got in the way of a James Coppinger strike to prevent the ball from testing Remi Matthews.

Matthews then showed some alert goalkeeping when he held on to Ben Whiteman’s half volley which went through a sea of bodies.

At the other end, after some good link up play by Chris O’Grady, Brandon Fleming saw his cross-shot go narrowly over the bar.

Joe Dodoo got the better of Reece James down the right hand side to get in the box but his low pull back was scrambled away by Ben Sheaf.

The hosts had another chance when Kieran Sadlier created some space over on the right to put in a centre for Fejiri Okenabirhie, but his header was held onto firmly by Matthews who was well placed.

Wanderers then had a chance of their own almost immediately but Ethan Hamilton’s well struck volley from the edge of the box was blocked by Sheaf after Fleming’s corner fell to the on-loan midfielder.

Sadlier saw a curling shot go over the bar after he cut in on the right hand side to create the chance.

Wanderers enjoyed their best chance of the evening when Hamilton got on the end of Dodoo’s chipped cross after Murphy sold the Doncaster defenders a dummy, but the Scotsman’s low effort went agonisingly wide.

O’Grady then went close moments later when his curling shot was held on to by Seny Dieng. Wanderers by now had the bit between their teeth.

Rovers responded with an effort of their own but Okenabirhie’s went narrowly wide with a deflected shot after Sadlier had teed him up. Coppinger’s resulting corner was headed over the bar by Sheaf.

Okenabirhie put the hosts in front five minutes before the break after he slid the ball underneath the onrushing Matthews after being put in by a smart pass off Sadlier.

The Rovers man almost doubled his tally and his side’s lead deep into first half injury time when he turned his shot narrowly wide of Matthews’ right hand post.

Wanderers had a chance to equalise not long after the restart when Kean Bryan picked up a pass off O’Grady before seeing his effort kept out by Dieng.

But the hosts extended their lead through Ennis moments later when he crept in at the far post to head home a smart cross from Coppinger.

The visitors tried to get back into the contest and Fleming was unlucky with his thumping strike from the edge of the box going over the bar after being located by Dodoo’s low centre.

Matthews was on hand to pull off a brilliant stop to deny Okenabirhie after Hobbs’ attempted back pass was intercepted by the Rovers frontman.

Rovers were looking for a third and Coppinger tried his luck from distance but his shot went a yard or so over the bar.

Wanderers got themselves back into the game just before the hour mark when Dodoo took advantage of a Dieng effort to roll the ball into an empty net.

Wanderers were forced into making a change shortly after the goal when Jacob Mellis came on for Hobbs.

Bryan then got in the way to superbly stifle a chance for Okenabirhie after the strike looked to latch on to a loose ball in the danger area.

A whipped in corner by Fleming was helped on its way into the box by O’Grady but the ball didn’t fall kindly for Daryl Murphy who was poised inside the six-yard box.

Hamilton tried his luck with an acrobatic volley from distance but his effort didn’t cause any trouble for Dieng who held onto the ball.

Matthews, at the other end, held on to Ben Whiteman’s strike after Coppinger found him with a squared pass.

Daryl Murphy had a great chance to equalise when he capitalised on an error from Tom Anderson and although the big Irishman powered his way into the box his shot was ultimately blocked by the Rovers defence.

With six minutes remaining, Hill made his second change of the night when he brought on Ryan Delaney for Bryan.

Luke Murphy’s attempt from distance as the game was heading for full time went over the bar with Wanderers pressing for an equaliser.

But that goal never came and Wanderers were left to curse their luck as they bowed out to a successive narrow defeat.

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