The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By An­drew Cof­fey

JOHN Mar­quis in­sists two wins over Portsmouth in one sea­son stands as proof of Don­caster’s pro­mo­tion cre­den­tials, af­ter Rovers main­tained their lead at the League Two sum­mit.

The 24-year-old struck twice at the Keep­moat Sta­dium on Thurs­day, open­ing the scor­ing with a header be­fore Kai Nai­smith can­celled his ef­fort out be­fore half-time.

Tommy Rowe’s stinger put the hosts back ahead be­fore the hour mark, and Mar­quis – who cel­e­brated his first goal with a dart-throw­ing cel­e­bra­tion – made three points cer­tain on 71 min­utes with a 12-yard vol­ley.

“We try not to look at the ta­ble too much, but any­one who beats Portsmouth twice is go­ing to be up there,” said the striker, who is now on 13 goals.

“A bit of a gap has opened up but we’re not

go­ing to rest. We want to go up in style. We haven’t lost at home all sea­son and want that to con­tinue.

“I’m a big fan of darts and my mum plays in a team. She’s quite good, and was play­ing darts with all her friends in Lon­don, get­ting there early to watch our game.

“I said if I scored, I would get to the oche and throw a few! I can’t beat my mum, she is far too good for me. I’m just an idiot when I cel­e­brate.”

It was not all good news for Don­caster boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son how­ever, who saw keeper Marko Marosi car­ried off on a stretcher four min­utes from time af­ter a heroic per­for­mance.

The 23-year-old Slo­vakian de­nied Matthew Clarke from point-blank range in the first half, be­fore just get­ting his fin­ger­tips to Mi­lan Lalkovic’s header, but was in­jured in a goal­mouth scram­ble.

And Pom­pey boss Paul Cook lamented his side con­ced­ing the first goal once again, as his play­ers left them­selves with a moun­tain to climb. Cook said: “It’s an Achilles heel. “What we can’t do is give them the first goal, that’s the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion.

“There has been Lu­ton away, Ply­mouth away, and other games when we have con­ceded goals early on.

“We have that within us and it’s un­for­tu­nate. What we are is naive.

“We make mis­takes in pos­ses­sion, we just don’t man­age to do the right thing at the right time on oc­ca­sions.

“And if you give it away in the mid­dle third against a team who just want to break on you then you are in trou­ble.”

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