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The Keepmoat Stadium (ATT 10,823) 15th November 2008 - Kick off 17:20 Ref: K Friend

Doncaster Doncaster Rovers vs Ipswich Town Ipswich

Rovers roused by Martis

Norris miss helps condemn Ipswich to defeat

Last Updated: 15/11/08 8:03pm

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Martis: Winning goal

Martis: Winning goal

Doncaster claimed their first Coca-Cola Championship victory in 13 games as Shelton Martis' goal was enough to defeat Ipswich.

Martis broke the deadlock in the 41st minute to end Rovers' 325-minute Championship goal-drought and head his side into a deserved lead.

Ipswich's David Norris, who hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier in the week, earlier missed from close range, to the delight of the home fans.

Bottom-of-the-table Rovers had won just two League games prior to kick-off but did not resemble a team in peril as they surged forward with attacking intent in the first half.

The second period was played at lightning pace with both sides displaying attacking enterprise and both goalkeepers were forced to make spectacular saves.

Rovers keeper Neil Sullivan was first called into action to tip over Darren Ambrose's spectacular volley and then opposite number Richard Wright somehow kept out Martin Woods' ferocious drive as Rovers held on for the three points.

Far from looking like a beleaguered side in search of their first victory in 13 Championship games, Rovers began the match in sprightly fashion and roused the home crowd with a flurry of early corners.

Doncaster, who recalled James Chambers, Paul Heffernan and Martis to their starting XI, dominated the opening proceedings and Jason Price came inches away from latching on to Chambers' flick-on in the 14th minute.

But, against the run of play, the visitors almost took the lead as Owen Garvan's 19th-minute corner found Richard Naylor and his header into the ground looped up and onto the crossbar before the Rovers defence hurriedly cleared the ball to safety.


As the half drew to a close, and with Rovers failing to take advantage of their early possession, the visitors began to grow in confidence and Alan Quinn's stinging effort from distance had to be helped over the bar by the ever-alert veteran Sullivan.

And the visitors should have taken the lead in the 39th minute when former Fulham full-back Moritz Volz's pull back found Norris six yards out but he could not find the target as he somehow contrived to skew his shot wide from six yards out.

Just two minutes later, Jim Magilton's men were made to pay for that miss as Rovers took the lead through midfielder Martis who headed home after Matt Mills had nodded Brian Stock's incisive free-kick back across goal.

Ten minutes into the second half Ipswich boss Magilton introduced on-loan Charlton midfielder Ambrose and former Sheffield United striker Jon Stead as he looked to inject some attacking urgency into his side.

And the decision almost paid immediate dividends as former Newcastle midfielder Ambrose crashed a superb volley goalwards and Sullivan had to be at full stretch to turn the ball out for a corner.

Wright was forced to take evasive action moments later as he kept out Woods' ferocious drive in the 68th minute.

Midfielder John Spicer almost doubled Rovers' lead in the 81st minute as he embarked on a mazy run - carrying the ball for half the length of the pitch before hitting a tame shot at Wright.

And, just as is it seemed the home side would hang on for just their third win of the season, Ipswich substitute Pablo Counago leapt above the static Rovers defence but his header flew narrowly wide of the post.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 21 39
2 Middlesbrough 21 39
3 Derby County 21 38
4 Ipswich Town 21 38
5 Brentford 21 37
6 Watford 21 35
7 Norwich City 21 33
8 Blackburn Rovers 21 31
9 Nottingham Forest 21 30
10 Charlton Athletic 21 30
11 Cardiff City 21 30
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 30
13 Sheffield Wednesday 21 28
14 Fulham 21 25
15 Birmingham City 21 25
16 Reading 21 25
17 Huddersfield Town 21 24
18 Bolton Wanderers 21 23
19 Leeds United 21 23
20 Millwall 21 23
21 Rotherham United 21 21
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 21 18
23 Wigan Athletic 21 17
24 Blackpool 21 13