Date: 6th August 2011 at 10:19pm
Written by:

Doncaster Rovers started the season with an opening day defeat after looking like coming away with all three points inside the final ten minutes.

The afternoon was made even worse with strike duo Billy Sharp and James Hayter both being stretched off during the game.

The game had started perfectly for Sharp who fired Rovers into a half time lead but two goals from Will Buckley, the winner deep into stoppage time ruined what looked like being a great start for Rovers.

Rovers boss Sean O`Driscoll gave league debuts to two of his summer signings.

Richard Naylor and Tommy Spurr both started in defence.
Fellow new signings, Chris Brown, Giles Barnes and Kyle Bennett were amongst the substitutes, with Bennett and Barnes both coming off the bench.

Sharp had the first chance of the afternoon when his long-range shot was saved by Casper Ankergren in the Brighton goal.

Sharp was looking dangerous for Rovers and he shot wide after good work from James Coppinger.

Ashley Barnes had a great chance to put Brighton ahead when he found himself in on goal but Gary Woods did well to deny the striker.

Brighton were made to pay for the miss soon afterwards when Sharp got himself off and running for the season.

The leading goalscorer for the past two seasons pounced on a cross/shot by Ryan Mason and fired home from inside the area.

Rovers went in ahead at half time with Sharp looking dangerous.

Rovers suffered a severe blow early in the second half when Sharp was replaced through injury after a poor tackle, which saw him leave the pitch on a stretcher.

His replacement, Giles Barnes had a great chance from the resulting free kick but his header went wide of the post.

At the other end, Mackail-Smith missed a great chance to bring the home side level when he failed to hit the target with just Woods to beat.

Brighton were beginning to pressurise the Rovers goal and Mackail-Smith had another chance but he again failed to trouble Woods in the Rovers goal when he headed over.

Brighton finally levelled with just seven minutes remaining when substitute Will Buckley`s low shot beat Woods.

Rovers soon had a chance to retake the lead but Gillett`s weak shot was easy for Ankergren.

As the game moved into stoppage time, Rovers were dealt a further blow when James Hayter became the second Rovers striker to be stretchered off in the afternoon.

With Rovers already using their three substitutes the side had to play the seven minutes of injury time that were indicated with just ten men.

Will Buckley scored his second goal of the game in the fifth of these minutes to break the Rovers resistance.

A disappointing result to start the season, what is more worrying is the injuries to strikers Billy Sharp and James Hayter.


Ankergren, Calderon, Greer, Dunk, Painter, Sparrow (Buckley 74), Mackail-Smith, Barnes, Lua Lua (Noone 46), Dicker, Bridcutt

Subs not used
Brezovan, Navarro, Vincelot,

Woods, Dumbuya, Naylor, Friend, Spurr, Coppinger (Hird 88), Gillett, Oster, Mason (Bennett 74), Sharp (Barnes 55), Hayter

Subs not used
Sullivan, Brown

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