Rodney Rattles Rovers To End Title Hopes
It was a disappointing day for both Doncaster Rovers and Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
Both teams came into the game knowing they needed a win. Doncaster needed a win as they hoped to win the League Two title whilst Hartlepool needed a win if they were to have any chance of staying in the division.
Doncaster were within 16 minutes of winning the title after Andy Williams had fired them into a first half lead but two goals from Hartlepool substitute Devante Rodney turned the game but they were left deflated after a late winner for Newport County sent the down.
Doncaster started the game brightly and Williams forced Hartlepool keeper Trevor Carson into a good save inside the opening five minutes of the game.
Lewis Allessandra went close for the home side when his effort went just wide of the post.
Doncaster went ahead just past the half hour when Williams fired home from close range. The assistant initially ruled out the goal for offside but the pass to Williams had come off a Hartlepool defender and the referee overruled the decision.
With Plymouth losing, this put Doncaster in the driving seat to win the title.
Hartlepool faced an uphill task with Newport leading against Notts County at half time but their hopes were lifted when County equalised in the second half.
Allessandra and then Walker forced Ian Lawlor in the Doncaster goal into good saves but they eventually drew level on 74 minutes when a mistake by Joe Wright in the Doncaster defence was pounced on a Rodney picked his spot from close range.
Rodney then put Hartlepool ahead when Doncaster were caught light in defence and Rodney fired home after rounding Lawlor.
Doncaster tried to find a way back into the game in the closing stages and Conor Grant saw his effort go just wide and it was to prove in vain despite seven minutes of added time.
Portsmouth, who started the day as long-shots for the title, won 4-0 to clinch the title with Plymouth only managing a draw whilst Hartlepool were relegated despite their tremendous win after Newport scored a late winner.
Carson, Donnelly, Walker, Harrison, Magnay, Featherstone (Rodney 67), Woods (Deverdics 59), Hawkins, Alessandra, Amond, Oates (Simpson 72)
Subs not used
Fryer, Richards, Smith, Rooney
Lawlor, Alcock (McSheffrey 79), Butler, Wright, Blair, Coppinger (Taylor-Sinclair 72) , Mason, McCullough (Grant 53), Rowe, Marquis, Williams
Subs not used
Marosi, Keegan, May, Mandeville
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