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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.

Woodwork

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.

Opener
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

Sullivan.

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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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26

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