The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Paddy von Behr

DON­CASTER man­ager Brian Flynn was un­der no il­lu­sions as to who made all the dif­fer­ence at Alexan­dra Sta­dium as Billy Paynter played su­per-sub to sink Crewe.

Max Clay­ton put the Rail­way­men ahead but a dou­ble from sub­sti­tute Paynter sealed the points to keep Rovers two points clear at the top of League One.

And Flynn, who be­lieves his side’s pro­mo­tion bid will go down to the fi­nal day, was de­lighted with what could prove to be a piv­otal vic­tory.

“When you come on as a sub, can you make an im­pact?” he said. “He’s done ex­actly what we want him to do.

“Billy al­ways gets chances. Ev­ery time he’s played for us and come on as a sub he has had chances – here he took them with aplomb.

“It could prove piv­otal. It was prob­a­bly our least ef­fec­tive dis­play for at least three months – the sec­ond half was lit­tered with mis­takes.

“But what we showed was a de­sire and will­ing­ness to get back in the game.That’s a char­ac­ter­is­tic this team has had all sea­son.

“We can’t ask any favours from any­body else – we’ve got to as­sume ev­ery­body takes max­i­mum points and we have got to do the same. If we do the same, we’re pro­moted.”

Former Leeds United stop­per Neil Sul­li­van, back in the Rovers goal af­ter a loan spell in League Two with AFC Wim­ble­don, pro­duced an ex­cel­lent stop to deny By­ron Moore on 36 min­utes.

At the other end, Alan Martin’s re­flex save kept Rovers striker Iain Hume out from six yards on the stroke of half-time.

How­ever Clay­ton put the home side ahead on 54 min­utes, col­lect­ing Chuks Aneke’s through ball and send­ing it past Sul­li­van into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

An­other of Don­caster’s ex-Leeds con­tin­gent, Paynter, equalised on 66 min­utes, curl­ing into the far cor­ner from 20 yards, and struck again four min­utes later from close range, af­ter Crewe failed to deal with a loop­ing ball into the area.

Oliver Tur­ton had a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity to snatch a point for Crewe three min­utes from time, but he sent his right-footed ef­fort wide from the penalty spot.

Crewe boss Steve Davis was dis­ap­pointed his side let the re­sult slip, but ad­mits he is al­ready look­ing to the fu­ture.

“I want to fin­ish the sea­son strong,” he said. “Ev­ery side is coming here with some­thing to play for so ev­ery game is go­ing to be tough for us.

“It gives me chance to look at a few of the younger kids I’ve got for next sea­son and one or two play­ers who have not had much of a game.

“I thought we might go on to win the game and, apart from the two mis­takes for the goals, I thought our play was good.

“I thought it was off­side for the sec­ond – I would like to see that one again.

“We’re a young team, bat­tling away against the top of the league. “We had a go and it was a bit un­for­tu­nate we couldn’t hang on to a 1-0 win.”

WIN­NER: Billy Paynter cel­e­brates his sec­ond


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