PAYNTER BRUSHES OFF ALEX
CREWE ALEX ....1 DONCASTER......2
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