Doncaster 1 Crawley 1: Collins goal earns away draw

Josh Payne - Crawley Town FC v Wycombe Wanderers FC. Photo by Jack Beard. SUS-160608-204626008

Josh Payne - Crawley Town FC v Wycombe Wanderers FC. Photo by Jack Beard. SUS-160608-204626008

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Crawley Town earned a good away draw thanks to a fine early goal by striker James Collins.

James Coppinger earned the home side their first point of the season by equalising with a stunning strike.

James Collins. Crawley Town FC. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160718-113923001

James Collins. Crawley Town FC. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160718-113923001

Coppinger superbly fired home Matty Blair’s corner on 49 minutes to cancel out Collins’ first half tap-in for Crawley.

Doncaster were dreadful in the first half but the goal gave them some much-needed belief and Darren Ferguson’s men came closest to snatching all three points.

Rovers had hoped to impose themselves from the outset but it was Crawley who started the game with much more purpose.

The visitors deservedly went ahead after 26 minutes, Collins tapping in after Ross Etheridge failed to deal with the impressive Jason Banton’s low cross from the left.

Rovers were ragged in possession but went close to an equaliser when Coppinger fired a free-kick just wide. Tommy Rowe then got on the end of Riccardo Calder’s cross but saw his goalbound effort blocked.

However, the home side could have had few complaints had a more lively and in sync Crawley team doubled their advantage before the break.

Banton saw an effort deflected just wide, while Enzio Boldewijn hit a shot onto the roof of the net from the angle of the box.

Rovers, booed off at half-time, got just the lift they required just four minutes into the second half when Coppinger met Blair’s low corner delivery with a superb first-time finish into the far corner.

As the hosts grew in confidence, Blair looped a volley wide and then Rowe headed home another Blair corner only for the referee to spot an infringement.

Rovers continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and went close when John Marquis headed another corner just over the bar.

Andy Williams also curled an effort off target and volleyed a good chance well wide in stoppage time, while Coppinger also saw a late free-kick easily saved.

Rovers: Etheridge, Wright (Garratt 46), Butler, Mason (Lund 57), Blair, Houghton, Coppinger, Rowe, Calder (Mandeville 67), Williams, Marquis. Subs not used: Marosi, Evina, Middleton, Beestin.

Crawley: Mersin, Young, Davey, McNerney, Blackman, Smith, Payne, Boldewijn, Banton (Yorwerth 78), Clifford (Bawling 70), Collins (Harrold 81). Subs not used: Beeney, Arthur, Tajbakhsh, Pappoe.

Attendance: 4,327

Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon)

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