Sorry Villa crash to Rovers
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Doncaster Rovers' fairytale Carling Cup run continued following a thoroughly-deserved 3-0 win over Premiership Aston Villa at a packed Belle Vue.
Rovers beat Manchester City in a penalty shoot-out in the second round but left nothing to chance this time around with a superb display against David O'Leary's side.
The home side took the lead through Michael McIndoe's first half penalty before second half efforts from Paul Heffernan and Sean Thornton confirmed the surprise victory.
Villa began the better of the sides with Milan Baros testing Dino Seremet with a volley while Gavin McCann came close with a curling effort, but shortly after Rovers seized the initiative.
The visitors were lucky to escape a penalty appeal when Liam Ridgewell bundled Lewis Guy over in the area although they were not so lucky shortly after.
Ridgewell was again the centre of attention and Mike Dean awarded a spot-kick this time after adjudging the Villa defender to have handled James Coppinger's cross.
McIndoe made no mistake from the penalty spot, sending Thomas Sorensen the wrong way by firing his effort into the left-side of the net.
Villa responded and Gareth Barry was inches from levelling matters with a deft glancing header, although at the other end Jlloyd Samuel did well to block Heffernan's low drive.
David Mulligan's sliced clearance somehow stayed out of Seremet's net, while James Milner saw his angled shot float just over before the break.
O'Leary was looking for a response from his charges after the interval, but the visitors fell further behind just eight minutes after the re-start.
Heffernan latched onto Guy's deft flick and he made no mistake from the edge of the box with a fine composed drive that left Sorensen with nothing but air as he dived to his right.
Ricky Ravenhill came close to extending the lead but his shot flew just wide of the upright, while substitute Kevin Phillips saw his penalty appeals waved away after going down in the area.
Villa tried to get back into the contest, but their hopes were extinguished when the impressive Thornton bagged his first for the club.
The blonde-haired maestro burst past a couple of defenders before seeing his drilled effort glance off the disappointing Ridgewell and into the net to book their place in the quarter finals.
|Doncaster Rovers||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||2|
|4||Shots off Target||10|