Sharp condemns sorry Owls
On-loan striker does the damage for Rovers
By Danny Wright. Last Updated: December 8, 2009 10:36pm
Sharp: Headed winner
Billy Sharp's eighth goal of the season was enough to give Doncaster Rovers a 1-0 win over local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
The defeat leaves Wednesday languishing perilously close to the Championship drop-zone, while Sean O'Driscoll's men pull away from trouble into mid-table safety.
Sheffield United striker Sharp, who is on a season-long loan at the Keepmoat Stadium, powered in a superb cross from half-time substitute Simon Gillett in the 78th minute.
It was his sixth goal in as many games to clinch Rovers' first back-to-back league wins of the season, leaving Owls boss Brian Laws to ponder an eight-game winless run.
Wednesday went into the match in dire need of points to pull away from danger.
But they have struggled for goals of late and have now gone seven hours without scoring a goal, their last coming in the 2-1 defeat to QPR four games ago.
A lack of firepower showed in this lifeless South Yorkshire derby, and they did little to test Neil Sullivan in the home goal.
And it was Doncaster who had the better of the few chances on offer in the first-half.
Rovers' midfielder James Coppinger curled a right-footed effort wide of Lee Grant's left-hand post as the opening fell way short of expectation.
Martin Woods tested Grant with a free-kick after James Hayter had been fouled, then Hayter himself had a chance from Martin Woods' corner but the 30-year-old headed wide.
Both sides battled for supremacy in the second half and O'Driscoll's men were asking all the questions.
James O'Connor, always stretching, headed Coppinger's corner just over the crossbar as a near-full Keepmoat waited patiently for the contest to ignite.
Unsurprisingly, it was Doncaster who found a way through after creating the better openings, Sharp heading home from Gillett's centre.
That was enough to condemn the Owls despite a late fight-back, a result which sees the pressure increase on Laws.
Tue 8th Dec
West Brom0 - 2Cardiff
Leicester1 - 3Bristol C
Swansea1 - 0Plymouth
Doncaster1 - 0Sheff Wed
Preston0 - 0Derby
Ipswich0 - 0Peterboro
Sheff Utd0 - 0N Forest
Reading2 - 4C Palace
Middlesbro'0 - 3Blackpool
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