Sharp nets but Boro bounce back

Billy Sharp opened the scoring for Doncaster on an emotional night at the Keepmoat Stadium, but Middlesbrough came from behind to win 3-1.

Last Updated: 02/11/11 at 07:15

Sharp: Emotional night for striker

Sharp: Emotional night for striker

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Hours before kick-off Doncaster announced that captain Sharp's two-day-old son had died on Saturday, and it had been expected that the forward would be unable to play any part in the contest.

However, Rovers boss Dean Saunders sprang a surprise by including Sharp in his starting line-up alongside new signing El-Hadji Diouf.

A minute's applause celebrated the tragically short life of Sharp's child before kick-off and Sharp sent the Keepmoat Stadium into raptures when he netted a stunning volley inside the first 15 minutes.

Boro responded with the calm assurance of a side lodged in the upper reaches of the npower Championship and they were ahead by half-time.

A wretched mistake by Doncaster's veteran goalkeeper Neil Sullivan allowed Marvin Emnes to claim his side's second after Barry Robson's drive restored parity.

Robson's second and his side's third came from the penalty spot after another Sullivan error caused chaos inside his own penalty area and Pascal Chimbonda fouled Tony McMahon.

Diouf embarked upon an early surging run at the Middlesbrough defence, but his cross was dealt with and the opening exchanges featured little goalmouth action.

The Keepmoat erupted with 14 minutes gone when Diouf flicked the ball towards the left-hand edge of the penalty area where Sharp swivelled and rifled an exquisite dipping volley over goalkeeper Jason Steele into the far corner.

Sharp revealed a message on a t-shirt from underneath his Doncaster jersey that read 'That's for you son' as he ran towards the home fans in celebration and referee Darren Deadman did not issue a caution.

Boro were rattled and Diouf caught their back line napping to fire narrowly wide two minutes later before visiting right wing-back Justin Hoyte limped down the tunnel and was replaced by Faris Haroun in the 21st minute.

The substitution necessitated a change of shape to 4-4-2 for Tony Mowbray, and moments after redeployed full-back McMahon delivered a teasing cross and Rhys Williams headed into Sullivan's arms for Middlesbrough's first attempt on target.

Although their attacks remained sporadic, Boro pulled level after half an hour when Robson was allowed to advance towards the Doncaster goal and drive a 20-yard effort into the bottom corner.

Rovers refused to drop their intensity in attack but they were behind in first-half stoppage time when Scott McDonald released Haroun down the right.

The Belgian's low cross was met by Emnes, whose close-range effort was tamely hit but Sullivan fumbled horribly and the ball trickled into his net.

Doncaster still appeared shaken at the start of the second half as Middlesbrough dominated.

Emnes missed a golden opportunity to increase the lead in the 55th minute when he skied a volley from six yards after Robson's delicate cross.

Boro's third came with 64 minutes gone and once again Sullivan was culpable.

The former Scotland international failed to hold a drive from Emnes, and although he managed to thwart Robson's follow-up, the ensuing melee saw Chimbonda bundle McMahon to the floor and Deadman pointed to the spot.

Sullivan guessed correctly, but Robson's well-struck penalty to the goalkeeper's left comfortably found the net.

Doncaster looked to respond but a pair of long-range efforts from full-back George Friend were all they had to show for their efforts Middlesbrough played out the match in composed fashion.

The sponsor's man of the match award went to Sharp, much to the delight of the remaining home fans, and Doncaster will need to display plenty more of his remarkable spirit after they slipped to the bottom of the Championship.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Friday, 24 October 2014
19:45
Fulham 3-0 Charlton  
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Blackburn 1-0 Birm'ham  
Blackpool 0-1 Derby  
B'mouth 3-0 Reading Report
Brentford 0-0 Sheff Wed  
Cardiff 3-1 Ipswich  
Charlton 2-1 Bolton  
Huddsf'ld 1-1 Brighton Report
Norwich 1-1 Leeds  
Rotherham 3-3 Fulham Report

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Derby 13 13 26
2 Watford 13 11 25
3 M'boro 13 7 23
4 Wolves 13 5 23
5 Norwich 13 10 22
6 N Forest 13 9 22
7 Charlton 14 1 22
8 B'mouth 13 6 21
9 Ipswich 13 4 20
10 Cardiff 13 2 19
11 Blackburn 13 -1 19
12 Brentford 13 -1 19
13 Sheff Wed 13 0 18
14 Rotherham 13 -3 16
15 Leeds 13 -3 16
16 Huddsf'ld 13 -6 16
17 Reading 13 -8 15
18 Millwall 13 -3 14
19 Fulham 14 -6 14
20 Wigan 13 -2 12
21 Brighton 13 -3 12
22 Birm'ham 13 -8 11
23 Bolton 13 -13 8
24 Blackpool 13 -11 6

Updated Fri, 24 Oct 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: Ronald Koeman looking at European challenge sparked by Dusan Tadic

Ronald Koeman believes Dusan Tadic can spark Southampton into a challenge for Champions League football next season.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident Joe Hart will sign new Manchester City deal

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he is confident that England goalkeeper Joe Hart will sign a new contract.

Premier League: Garry Monk puts Stoke furore behind him

Swansea boss Garry Monk is keen to focus on weekend opponents Leicester after a stormy week for him personally.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property