Sharp shooter sinks Saints

Billy Sharp hit the only goal of the game as Doncaster moved off the bottom of the Championship with a shock 1-0 win over leaders Southampton.

Last Updated: 03/12/11 at 17:13

Sharp: Struck the vital winner

Sharp: Struck the vital winner

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Rickie Lambert was absent for Nigel Adkins' side with a hip injury and the Saints badly missed the 14-goal striker's cutting edge as they failed to consistently test Rovers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday.

Southampton's best chance fell to Morgan Schneiderlin, who was thwarted by on-loan Wolves man Ikeme when through on goal in the first half.

An end-to-end opening period gave way to a cagey second 45 minutes, but Sharp was on hand to provide the decisive moment from Marc-Antoine Fortune's 60th-minute cross.

West Ham's defeat to Burnley means Southampton's two-point advantage at the summit remains intact after 20 games.

James Coppinger replaced Giles Barnes in the only change to the Doncaster side that lost 3-2 at Millwall on Tuesday night, while Adkins handed recalls to Danny Fox and Steve de Ridder.

Rovers might have taken a second-minute lead when Herita Ilunga headed wide after the Saints defence gifted the on-loan West Ham defender a free header from Brian Stock's corner.

Former St Mary's midfielder Simon Gillett then drew an impressive save from Kelvin Davis with a stinging 20-yard drive as Doncaster made an enterprising start.

Sharp dragged wide from a Gillett cross in the 24th minute before Stock fired narrowly past the post from the edge of the area after full-back James O'Connor instigated a swift Rovers counter-attack.

Southampton should have been in front shortly after the half-hour. Schneiderlin sprung the Doncaster offside trap to collect Guly Do Prado's through-ball, but Ikeme was quickly off his line and diverted the ball behind.

From the resulting corner, one of eight won by Saints in the opening period, the hosts sprung up the other end on the counter-attack to win one of their own, and Ilunga saw his header from Stock's delivery cleared off the line by Jose Fonte.

Do Prado, who scored his eighth goal of the season in Southampton's midweek victory over Hull, hit a speculative lob in the 39th minute, forcing a scrambling Ikeme to tip over the bar.

That save preserved the deadlock at the interval and the high-octane nature of the first half was not replicated when the action resumed.

But the Keepmoat Stadium was sent into raptures with an hour gone when Fortune hared towards the right byline and cut back for Sharp to register his seventh goal of the season in clinical fashion.

Sharp netted from the penalty spot in midweek and after 74 minutes it looked as if he might get the chance to double his side's advantage when Coppinger went down under a heavy challenge from Fox in the area. However, the linesman's flag was already raised for offside.

In the final quarter of an hour, Southampton remained frustrated as a dogged Doncaster secured three vital points.

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

Monday, 25 May 2015
15:00
M'boro 0-2 Norwich Report
Saturday, 16 May 2015
12:15
Norwich 3-1 Ipswich Report
Friday, 15 May 2015
19:45
M'boro 3-0 Brentford Report
Saturday, 09 May 2015
12:15
Ipswich 1-1 Norwich Report
Friday, 08 May 2015
19:45
Brentford 1-2 M'boro Report
Saturday, 02 May 2015
12:15
Blackburn 3-2 Ipswich Report
Bolton 0-1 Birm'ham Report
Brentford 3-0 Wigan Report
Charlton 0-3 B'mouth Report
Derby 0-3 Reading Report

Footer 365

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba set to sign five-year contract until 2020

Jordi Alba is set to sign a new five-year contract with Barcelona, the club have announced.

Arsenal in talks with Higuain - Report

Arsenal have begun talks with Napoli striker Gonzalo Higauin with an aim to bringing the Argentine to north London, according to reports in Italy.

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Mail Box

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company