Report & Gallery: Doncaster Rovers 1 Ipswich Town 4 - Three extra-time goals put Blues into third round of Capital One Cup
Ipswich Town scored three times in extra-time at Doncaster Rovers last night to reach the third round of the Capital One Cup for the first time in five years.
David McGoldrick, James Alabi and Ryan Fraser netted in the 102nd, 105th and 113th minutes respectively, Brett Pitman’s second half strike having cancelled out Andy Williams’ first half opener.
It was a night which made Larsen Toure a cult hero – the all-action French-born winger having thrown his shirt into the away end at full-time thinking the proceedings were over, sheepishly retrieving it before setting up McGoldrick’s crucial extra-time header.
Burly front man Alabi – signed this week following a trial – then added the killer third after an impressive display off the bench, with fellow sub Fraser wrapping things up.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy made seven changes to his starting line-up following Saturday’s 2-1 win at Preston in the Championship.
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Dean Gerken, Tommy Smith, Pitman and MCGoldrick were the four players to keep their places, with a host of youngsters – including debutant Adam McDonnell – again given their chance in the Cup.
Town started the match well enough. Centre-back Josh Yorwerth saw a half volley, following a Toure corner, spilt by keeper Thorsten Stuckmann early on, with Pitman not quite able to reach the loose ball first.
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McGoldrick – whose movement was, as always, excellent – then danced his way into the box in the 14th minute, his low shot held by the home side’s big German custodian.
A minute later, Town had a golden chance to break the deadlock when McGoldrick’s through ball was missed by defender Andy Butler. Pitman was suddenly racing away one-on-one with the keeper but, with a defender on his heels, he fired wide of the target.
The 18-year-old McDonnell was looking tidy in the middle of the park, while summer recruit Toure certainly didn’t lack for work-rate or tenacity on the right wing.
Town did look like a team that hadn’t played together though and were unable to build any sort of rhythm.
Doncaster broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute. Following Tommy Smith’s foul out on the left, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s crossed free-kick was punched clear by an under-pressure Gerken. Ex-Blues loanee Ritchie Wellens quickly put a diagonal cross back into the area and, with the ball floating over everybody, striker Williams drifted in at the back post to expertly power a header back across goal and into the far side of the goal.
It was Rovers’ first ‘proper’ goal of the season, Paul Dickov’s side having drawn a blank three times, netted a freak one following a throw back to the keeper against Bury (the opposition subsequently allowed to score unopposed) and converted a penalty against Leeds.
The home fans, not happy with their team’s start to the League One campaign, jokingly chanted ‘how bad must you be, we’re winning at home’ – or words to that effect.
Ipswich continued to huff and puff, with long balls coming to nothing and several crosses over-hit.
The Blues did come close to equalising in the 39th minute though when, once again, Pitman raced away one-on-one. This time, after Jay Tabb’s hopeful hook forwards took out the entire home defence, the Town striker lobbed the on-rushing keeper only to see the attempt come back off the crossbar. McGoldrick sliced the rebound attempt wide.
It was Pitman on the end of another opportunity three minutes after the restart. Toure’s corner delivery was poor, but Pitman produced a clever flicked shot at the near post which forced Stuckmann into a reaction save. Pitman had another bite at the cherry, stabbing the ball towards goal, but again Stuckmann was there to make the block.
Doncaster began to press high up the field and, for a while, Ipswich were very much on the back foot.
There was a let off for the Blues in the 50th minute when Gerken completely missed an attempted punch and the ball inadvertently hit Williams before pinging wide.
Moments later, Curtis Main smashed a free-kick narrowly wide following Myles Kenlock’s poor touch and Smith’s push on the egde of the box.
Town’s leveller therefore came against the run of play. Following a hopeful ball into the box, a Doncaster defender headed the ball straight up into the air and, when the ball eventually dropped, McGoldrick and/or Toure got the slightest of forward touches with their head. Pitman came steaming through the crowded box and slammed the ball home from close range.
McCarthy introduced new signing Alabi with 70 minutes to go and the burly striker’s raw power caused immediate problems for the home defence.
McGoldrick twice went close at the death, while Stuckmann produced a fine stop from Toure to force extra-time.
It was Toure’s cross which led to McGoldrick’s fine header, then Alabi side-footed home after Fraser’s run and McGoldrick’s cross-cum-shot.
Fraser then added the icing on the cake himself, firing home a low shot after fine work by McGoldrick on the edge of the box.
DONCASTER ROVERS (4-4-2): Stuckmann; McCullough (Lund 19), Jones (Whitehouse 46), Butler, Taylor-Sinclair; Coppinger, Chaplow (Middleton 100), Wellens, Evina; Main, Williams.
Unused subs: Marosi, Carberry, Mandeville, P McKay.
Booked: Chaplow (42), Main (79)
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Emmanuel, Yorwerth, Smith (Chambers 79), Kenlock; Toure, McDonnell (Fraser 99), Coke, Tabb; Pitman (Alabi 70), McGoldrick.
Unused subs: Crowe, Benyu, Maitland-Niles, Sears.
Booked: Kenlock (36)
Attendance: 3,729 (753 away)
Referee: Scott Duncan