Match report: Accrington Stanley 3 Doncaster Rovers 2

Accrington Stanley v Doncaster Rovers
Accrington Stanley v Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rovers got life in League Two off to a frustrating start after conceding an injury time winner at Accrington Stanley.

Sean McConville curled a superb volley beyond Ross Etheridge as the game entered added time to give Rovers plenty to consider in the aftermath of the opening day of the season.

Rovers enjoyed the lion's share of meaningful possession, particularly in a second half they dominated.

But wastefulness in front of goal cost them and a battling Stanley side hammered home the fact Darren Ferguson's side will not have it all their own way in the fourth tier this season.

Andy Williams missed an early penalty after Accrington keeper Aaron Chapman clattered Matty Blair less than a minute in.

Stanley punished the miss on eight minutes when Rommy Boco fired under Ross Etheridge.

Rovers were level four minutes later thanks to a superb run and fine finish from Tommy Rowe.

Just before the half hour, Stanley went back in front courtesy of a speculative effort from 35 yards from Matty Pearson.

Though Rovers dominated the second half, they struggled to find a way through.

Eight minutes from time, they finally got it when Chapman dropped Williams' first time effort over the line.

But as Rovers chased the win, they were caught out when McConville's controlled volley from Chris Eagles' high ball beat Etheridge.

New signings Jordan Houghton and Niall Mason - signed on loan from Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively - both went straight into the side with Etheridge, Matty Blair and John Marquis all making their debuts.

Rovers were gifted a glorious chance to kick off life in League Two in the best fashion when they were awarded a penalty inside the first minute.

Goalkeeper Chapman fluffed his claim for Houghton's deep cross and in his bid to recover, clattered into Blair.

But Rovers failed to take advantage. Williams stepped up and side-footed a tame kick which Chapman claimed with ease.

And they were quickly made to pay as the hosts took the lead with eight minutes gone.

Scott Brown's ball over the top left the Rovers defence standing, allowing Boco to collect and slot under Etheridge.

Rovers responded well and went on the attack. Williams created his own opportunity, flicking the ball up and volleying just wide of the post.

But on 12 minutes they drew level.

Rowe showed tremendous determination to dance into the box before smashing a shot past Chapman into the far corner.

Rovers twice went close to taking the lead. Excellent work from Marquis opened up a chance for James Coppinger whose strike was deflected over for a corner, from which Andy Butler powered a header over the bar.

And Butler attempted a volley from another corner but sent the ball straight at Chapman.

The missed Accrington re-established the lead with a goal from nothing just before the half hour. Pearson collected the ball 35 yards out and was afforded plenty of space and time to fire a bouncing effort on goal which Etheridge failed to reach before it nestled into the corner.

The hosts went close to extending their lead moments later. Coppinger lost the ball in midfield, sparking a break which saw Brown feed Terry Gornell who curled just wide of the far post.
Rovers took control of possession as the half wore on and played some decent football in the middle of the park.

The closest they came to an equaliser came from a corner however. Coppinger's flat centre almost creeped straight in only for Pearson to stoop and head off the line.

Rovers continued to have the better of the play in the second half. The majority of the most dangerous work came through Marquis' industry in the channels or Blair's tenacious running on the right.

Chances were created but Chapman was not tested nearly enough. Each effort was put straight at the grateful Stanley keeper with Marquis and Rowe both guilty of not giving him more to think about.

But putting the ball straight at Chapman finally paid off when Rovers finally grabbed the equaliser eight minutes from time.

Substitute Liam Mandeville chased a lost cause and sent a tantilising cross into the box which Williams met with a side-foot volley. Chapman looked to have claimed over his head but dropped the ball over the line.

Rovers pushed for a winner and looked to be the side most likely to do so.

But they were hit with a hammerblow in the first of seven added minutes.

Substitute Eagles sent a high crossfield ball which McConville struck superbly to give Stanley the win.

Accrington: Chapman, Donacien (Jones 79), Beckles, Hughes, Pearson, Clarke (Eagles 74), Brown, Conneely, McConville, Boco (McCartan 71), Gornell. Subs not used: Parish, Davies, Hery, Hewitt.

Rovers: Etheridge, Blair, Lund, Butler, Mason, Calder (Evina 66), Coppinger (Middleton 66), Houghton (Mandeville 74), Rowe, Marquis, Williams. Subs not used: Marosi, Wright, Garratt, Beestin.

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne)

Attendance: 2,647 (1,240)