Wellens magic downs Coventry
Doncaster claim first home win
Last Updated: 30/08/08 6:04pm
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 30th Aug
So'ton0 - 1Blackpool
Sheff Utd0 - 0Cardiff
Swansea1 - 1Sheff Wed
Bristol C1 - 1QPR
Barnsley2 - 0Derby
Burnley0 - 0Plymouth
Norwich1 - 1Birm'ham
Wolves5 - 1N Forest
Reading4 - 2C Palace
Doncaster1 - 0Coventry
Preston2 - 1Charlton
Watford2 - 1Ipswich
Sky Bet Championship
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