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The Keepmoat Stadium (ATT 12,031) 25th April 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Taylor

Doncaster Doncaster Rovers vs Crystal Palace C Palace

Rovers sink Eagles

Shiels & Hayter see off Eagles

Last Updated: 25/04/09 6:28pm

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Hayter: On the mark

Hayter: On the mark

Doncaster ended their home campaign with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goals from Dean Shiels - his first goal for the club - and James Hayter gave Rovers the points to help them move above Palace in the table.

Palace will feel aggrieved to have left the Keepmoat Stadium empty-handed as they were denied by the woodwork three times in the opening period, with

Johannes Ertl, Neil Danns and Anthony Stokes all hitting the post. Stokes,

meanwhile, also had a goal disallowed with the score at 1-0.

The victory for Rovers sees them claim their first home win since the beginning

of March and moves them into the top half, while Palace have won just one of

their last eight games and they slip to 14th position in the league.

The game began in slow fashion and had all the hallmarks of two sides with

nothing to play for contesting a drab end-of-season affair.


However, after 20 minutes the game burst into life and Palace hit the woodwork twice inside a minute.

First, Nick Carle curled in a tempting free-kick that was met by defender Ertl,

who crashed his header into the post.

When Danns picked up the loose ball, he weaved through the Rovers defence and fired in a shot that cannoned off the other post.

The visitors continued their domination and were denied by the post for a third

time when Stokes cut in from the left and his curling effort beat the dive of

Neil Sullivan and hit the upright.

Then, with the first half drawing to a close, Doncaster took the lead with their first meaningful effort. Richie Wellens was at the forefront of some intricate play down the left and he slipped in Shiels, who broke clear and slotted home past Julian Speroni.

Palace found life difficult at the start of the second period and struggled to

maintain their attacking threat until Danns had a 12-yard effort well saved by


Palace thought that they had finally breached the Rovers defence when Nathaniel Clyne broke down the right and crossed for Stokes who headed home, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

With 20 minutes remaining the game opened up and with Palace searching for a goal, Doncaster began to exploit the gaps in the visitor's defence and John Spicer ballooned his effort over from a good position inside the area.

However, Spicer was not made to pay for that miss as Rovers doubled their

advantage with their next attack after 75 minutes. Waide Fairhurst fed Hayter,

who rifled in a rising shot on the turn past the helpless Speroni to put the game to bed.

Palace offered very little in response, with Stokes sending a long-range effort

just wide, but Speroni produced a fine save to deny Martin Woods as Sean

O'Driscoll's side coasted to the three points.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 27 51
2 Derby County 27 51
3 Middlesbrough 27 50
4 Ipswich Town 27 50
5 Brentford 27 49
6 Watford 27 47
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 44
8 Norwich City 27 43
9 Sheffield Wednesday 27 38
10 Blackburn Rovers 27 36
11 Birmingham City 27 36
12 Nottingham Forest 27 34
13 Cardiff City 27 34
14 Fulham 27 34
15 Huddersfield Town 27 34
16 Bolton Wanderers 27 33
17 Charlton Athletic 27 32
18 Reading 27 31
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 27 29
20 Leeds United 27 29
21 Rotherham United 27 29
22 Millwall 27 24
23 Wigan Athletic 27 21
24 Blackpool 27 17


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