Rovers sweep Scunny aside

Scunthorpe were blown away in the first half as local rivals Doncaster stormed to a comfortable 3-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Last Updated: 01/01/11 at 18:28

Sharp: On target for Rovers

Sharp: On target for Rovers

Kick-off in the was delayed for 55 minutes because one of the stadium's ambulances broke down en route to the ground and had to be replaced, but when play did get under way, those in attendance were treated to an open game that swung from end to end in the opening stages.

Scunthorpe striker Jonathan Forte was left to rue an early miss as goals from Billy Sharp, James Hayter and Joseph Mills gave Rovers a three-goal lead at the interval.

Doncaster played out the second half comfortably, but their afternoon was slightly soured when Sam Hird was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The home side settled quickly into their trademark passing style, with attacking duo Sharp and Hayter receiving plenty of service in to feet.

But it was Scunthorpe who spurned the game's first major opening in the eighth minute.

Brian Stock brought down Iron striker Chris Dagnall in the right channel and Michael O'Connor's free-kick caused confusion in the Rovers area before dropping to Forte, who drilled his shot at the legs of goalkeeper Neil Sullivan when well placed.

That scare and the early loss of Shelton Martis through injury did not upset Doncaster's rhythm. In the 22nd minute Marc Wilson fashioned room for Sharp, but he could only shoot tamely wide.

The former Iron striker made amends two minutes later when he met Stock's corner to give Doncaster the lead.

Scunthorpe almost responded immediately as Michael Collins burst into the Rovers area, only for a poor touch to botch his shooting opportunity.

Dagnall was keeping the hosts honest at the back and a menacing run in the 33rd minute ended with referee Paul Tierney waving away penalty claims.

To rub salt into Scunthorpe's wounds it was soon 2-0.

James Coppinger rampaged down the visitors' left flank and his cross evaded Sharp but was stabbed home by the lurking Hayter at the back post.

Almost immediately Hayter forced Scunthorpe keeper Joe Murphy into a save at his near post.

Murphy was helpless when Rovers effectively ended the game as a contest a minute into added time at the end of the first half.

John Oster fired a dangerous cross into box and another ex-Iron, this time rookie defender Mills, turned the ball home to claim his first senior goal.

Scunthorpe boss Ian Baraclough replaced Forte with youngster Matt Godden at the interval and his side made an encouraging start to the second period.

Nevertheless, the scale of the task facing the Iron and Doncaster's contentment with affairs saw the game peter out as a spectacle.

Northern Ireland striker David Healy replaced Hayter for Rovers with 10 minutes to play and his first contribution was to send a Mills cross narrowly wide.

In the 85th minute, Hird was given his marching orders for an ill-advised late lunge on Godden.

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