Rovers claim Ipswich scalp
Doncaster have all but secured their Championship status following a crucial 3-1 success at Ipswich.
Last Updated: 11/04/09 8:12pm
Doncaster Rovers have all but secured their Championship status following a crucial 3-1 success at Ipswich Town.
Rovers entered the game on a four-match losing run, but late goals from Paul Heffernan and James Hayter sealed a priceless success.
The visitors opened the scoring after just nine minutes through Gary Roberts, but Owen Garvan levelled matters almost immediately.
The win moves the South Yorkshire side 12 points clear of third-from-bottom Norwich City with just four league games left to be played.
Richie Wellens and John Spicer had early efforts blocked by Ivan Campo, and Pim Balkestein and Martin Woods volleyed over as Doncaster forged forward looking to end their poor run.
Rovers soon went ahead when Wellens found Roberts, who beat an out-of-position Richard Wright with an audacious long-range shot from the wing for his first of the season.
The home side levelled when Pablo Counago played the ball to Garvan and the midfielder drilled into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Garvan shot wide from long range soon after before Giovani Dos Santos hit the upright with a left-footed volley from 20 yards.
Dean Shiels shot over from 12 yards before Jon Walters, who was making a surprise early return from an ankle injury, had an effort off target at the other end.
Garvan fired wide before Counago saw his shot blocked by Matt Mills as the first half ended level.
Wellens had the first attempt of the second period, a 30-yard effort which was blocked by Balkestein 12 minutes after the resumption.
Walters dragged a long-range attempt wide for Town and Woods shot off target for Rovers.
Town manager Jim Magilton introduced substitute Connor Wickham, who was only in contention after training with the first team during the school holidays, in place of the ineffective Veliche Shumulikoski but Rovers went ahead for the second time.
James Chambers crossed and Heffernan's header from six yards was saved by Wright, only for the forward to follow up and prod the ball in from close range.
Rovers added a third five minutes from time when substitute Lewis Guy found Hayter who drilled in from 12 yards for a goal just 90 seconds after coming on.