Football

Debut joy for Ward: Match Review

Debut joy for Ward (©PAphotos)
Debut joy for Ward (©PAphotos).

Elliott Ward marked his debut with a stunning goal as Doncaster completed a league double over Sheffield Wednesday with a 2-0 victory at Hillsborough.

The centre-back, who has joined Rovers on a month-long loan deal from Coca-Cola Championship rivals Coventry, opened the scoring with a superb bicycle kick after 39 minutes before James O'Connor's second-half own goal put the result beyond doubt.

The result ended the Owls run of four league games without defeat at Hillsborough and was Alan Irvine's first home loss since replacing Brian Laws at the helm last month.

An action-packed first half saw goalkeepers Lee Grant and Neil Sullivan in the thick of the action.

Rovers goalkeeper Sullivan denied Luke Varney in the opening minutes before Wednesday striker Marcus Tudgay saw his effort cannon back of a post.

Sullivan was soon called into action again, this time denying Varney with a superb parry before Wednesday suffered a brief scare as Tudgay went down injured. The striker eventually hobbled off but, luckily for the Owls, he soon returned to the field.

At the other end, Grant also produced heroics to deny Billy Sharp and John Oster the chance to score the game's opening goal.

The Owls shot-stopper continued to keep Rovers at bay when he got a hand to James Coppinger's effort before going down low to deny James Hayter.

But with just six minutes of the first half remaining, Sharp, who scored the only goal of the game when the two sides met at the Keepmoat Stadium in December, teased the defence in the box before crossing for Ward to send the sweetest of bicycle kicks in off the underside of the bar.

The Owls could have levelled before the break but Sullivan was on hand to keep Tudgay, Varney and Tom Soares at bay.

There was still time for Sharp to go on a scintillating run up field, which ended with the on-loan Sheffield United striker just missing the target.

Wednesday almost grabbed an equaliser within two minutes of the restart but Sullivan was on hand to block Tudgay's effort.

And that miss proved costly as Rovers doubled their advantage shortly after the hour mark.

Sharp again caused havoc in the Wednesday defence before his strike was turned into his own net by O'Connor.

The Owls thought they had found a way back into the game when Tudgay's header beat Sullivan, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

But Doncaster continued to look the more potent threat in attack and threatened a third goal when Sharp was denied by the woodwork, but that did not stop Sean O'Driscoll's side from securing a third away league win of the season.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
James Coppinger
Doncaster Rovers
John Oster
Sheffield Wednesday
Elliott Ward
Lee Grant
Football
Championship
James O'Connor
James Hayter
Billy Sharp
Tom Soares
Sheffield United
Luke Varney
James O'Connor
Neil Sullivan
Coventry City
Marcus Tudgay

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