Date:Sunday November 14 2010
Doncaster Rovers claimed their first ever win at Fratton Park with a hard fought 3-2 win.
Rovers had thrown away leads in their last two away games, eventually coming away with just a point and looked to be doing it again when they let a 2-0 half time lead slip.
They eventually claimed all three points thanks to David Healy`s second goal in three games since joining on loan from Sunderland.
Rovers already depleted and small squad was reduced even further when Dean Shiels and Waide Fairhurst were left out of the squad with a virus.
Simon Whaley who has been enjoying a trial at the Keepmoat and signed for the club on a non contract basis, was named on the bench alongside Robbie Clark who has been on loan at Sheffield FC recently.
Sam Hird came into the starting line up for the virus hit Dean Shiels.
Portsmouth had an early chance headed wide from a Utaka cross into the middle.
Nugent had another chance soon afterwards but again failed to trouble Sullivan in the Rovers goal when he shot wide of the target.
Rovers slowly got into the game and Healy had the first sight on goal when he shot wide from distance.
Halford went closest to opening the scoring for the home side when his shot came back off the crossbar to Rovers relief.
An entertaining first ten minutes saw Rovers go close to opening the score when Ashdown when a great stop from Hayter.
An opening first fifteen minutes eventually saw the deadlock broken after some good work by Rovers midfielder John Oster. His ball out to Sam Hird was played into the middle and Oster`s clever step over found Hayter with time and space to smash the ball into the top corner.
It was the fourth game in a row that Hayter had scored for Rovers and his fifth of the season.
Portsmouth came back at Rovers and Halford, Brown and Kanu all had chances to get the home side on level terms.
Rovers doubled their lead on twenty-five minutes and once again, that man Oster was heavily involved.
A crunching Mustapha Dumbuya tackle on the halfway line won the ball for Rovers. Dumbuya played the ball to Coppinger and his precise one two with Oster put Coppinger in on goal and he made no mistake to make it 2-0 and score his sixth goal of the season.
The second goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side and Rovers comfortably saw out the rest of the half to go in two goals to the good at half time.
Portsmouth made a double substitution at half time with Joel Ward and Ricardo Rocha replacing Nwankwo Kanu and Ibrahima Sonko.
The home side had the first chance of the second half when the ball found its way across the box and Dave Kitson saw his shot well saved by Sullivan.
Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown almost had a horror moment when David Healy chased down a back pass to the goalkeeper, his clearance hitting Healy and luckily for Ashdown going out for a goal kick when it could have gone anywhere.
The home side were firmly on the front foot looking for a way back into the game as the second half wore on, and they got it on sixty-six minutes.
Some good work by John Utaka on the left and, his cross into the middle somehow find its way past Sullivan and onto the waiting Joel Ward who had an easy tap in.
Having thrown away leads in their last two away games, the nerves were once again being tested for the Rovers players and fans and their worst possible feelings were confirmed with just over fifteen minutes remaining when Portsmouth equalised.
Once again it was Utaka causing problems down the left that led to the goal, this time his ball into the middle was fumbled by Sullivan and Nugent eventually scrambled the ball over the line to bring the scores level.
Portsmouth almost took the lead soon afterwards when Coppinger managed to clear a goal bound header off the line.
The crucial goal was to come with just eleven minutes remaining; Steve Brooker got his head to a Rovers clearance to flick on for Healy.
The Northern Ireland international steadied himself before firing in from 20 yards and score his second winning goal for the club in three games since his arrival.
Portsmouth tried to respond with Utaka and Michael Brown both having chances for the home side.
The home side`s chances were made even more difficult in the closing few moments when Carl Dickinson was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on James Hayter.
A number of players got involved in a fracas following the incident, with Dickinson having to be restrained before eventually leaving the pitch.
Despite the referee finding almost six minutes of injury time Rovers comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to clinch the three points and move back up to seventh in the Championship.
Ashdown, Halford, Mokoena, Sonko (Rocha 46), Dickinson, Brown, Utaka, Nugent (cifti 90), Kanu (Ward 90), Kitson, Mullins
Subs not used
Flahavan, Hreidarsson, Hughes
Sullivan, O`Connor, Martis, Thomas, Dumbuya, Stock, Oster (Wilson 80), Hayter, Healy (Webster 90), Coppinger, Hird (Brooker 79)
Subs not used
G. Woods, Whaley, Clarke
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Date:Sunday November 14 2010
|15. Port Vale||18||6||4||8||-2||22|
|19. Leyton Orient||18||4||7||7||-3||19|
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