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The Keepmoat Stadium (ATT 11,806) 30th August 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: R Shoebridge

Doncaster Doncaster Rovers vs Coventry City Coventry

Wellens magic downs Coventry

Doncaster claim first home win

Last Updated: 30/08/08 6:04pm

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Wellens: Doncaster match-winner

Wellens: Doncaster match-winner

Richie Wellens fired Doncaster to a 1-0 victory over Coventry at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The decisive goal arrived after 31 minutes as Wellens unleashed a spectacular shot from 25 yards which flew past Sky Blues goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Rovers held on for their first home win of the season and condemned Coventry to their third defeat in the space of seven days.

Moments before Wellens' goal, Freddy Eastwood missed from close range with the goal at his mercy at the opposite end.

Michael Mifsud, substitute Leon Best and Scott Dann also went agonisingly close for the visitors, with the latter denied by a goal-line clearance from Rovers captain Brian Stock late in the first half.

Chris Coleman's Coventry side appeared content to soak up the early pressure as James Coppinger lashed over from 25 yards after six minutes.


There was plenty of industry from both sets of players but nothing in the way of clear-cut chances before the game sprang into life just after the half-hour mark.

Stock first tried his luck with an ambitious volley from the edge of the penalty area but failed to test Westwood.

Eastwood then spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to break the deadlock. Jay Tabb's cross from the right flank caused the Rovers defence problems and Clinton Morrison's near-post flick eventually ran into the path of Eastwood nine yards out, but the Wales international hit the side-netting with a clear sight of goal.

Coventry were left to instantly rue Eastwood's miss as Wellens opened the scoring in style.

The ball broke to the former Oldham and Blackpool midfielder 25 yards out and Wellens unleashed an unstoppable shot which nestled in Westwood's top right-hand corner.

Coppinger could have doubled Doncaster's lead six minutes before the interval but scooped over from 20 yards after jinking in from the right wing.


A series of corners late in the half almost saw Coventry haul themselves back into the game. Dann first powered a firm header just over after meeting Dan Fox's corner on the stroke of half-time and the same combination linked-up minutes later, with Stock this time on hand to hack the ball off the goal-line from directly underneath the crossbar.

The lively Mifsud fired another warning shot to the home side five minutes after the restart with a soaring 20-yard effort which failed to test veteran goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.

Sullivan had to be alert to smother Morrison's scuffed close-range shot from Dann's cushioned header after 57 minutes as Coventry continued to surge forward.

Lewis Guy twice spurned opportunities to ad a second for Rovers either side of a fine finger-tip save from Sullivan to deny Mifsud from 15 yards just after the hour.

The game was rapidly turning into a frenetic end-to-end encounter and Coleman hauled off Morrison and Eastwood and sent on Best and Leon McKenzie in a desperate attempt to muster an equaliser.

With 13 minutes remaining, Dann's header from Aron Gunnarsson's long throw-in was saved by Sullivan and Best could only watch on moments later as his nine-yard shot from Fox's corner rolled wide.

Goal-hero Wellens was given a standing ovation from the home faithful as he was withdrawn late on as Rovers clung on to record a first win since the opening day success at Derby.

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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