The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alas­dair Jones

DAR­REN Fer­gu­son’s pre-match predictions came true at the Hive, as James Cop­pinger proved piv­otal in Don­caster Rovers’ de­served win over Bar­net.

The ta­ble-top­pers ran out win­ners thanks to two strikes from their skipper ei­ther side of an ef­fort from John Mar­quis, which saw the League Two pace­set­ters come back from a goal down.

Cop­pinger’s sev­enth and eighth goals of the sea­son ce­mented Rovers’ place at the sum­mit as they moved onto 55 points in their hunt for an in­stant re­turn to League One.

Bar­net had been on a strong run of form, hav­ing lost just twice in their past eight games, but de­spite a golden start from John Akinde, they couldn’t pre­vent Rovers steal­ing the show.

“I had a funny feel­ing he would score,” said Don­caster man­ager Fer­gu­son.

“They were two won­der­ful goals. His sec­ond goal is some­thing we do in train­ing a lot. The boy’s a good player and a very good pro­fes­sional.”

Bar­net had flown out of the traps as Don­caster left-back Niall Ma­son’s poor back pass was seized upon by Akinde, who stuck away his 18th of the sea­son.

How­ever, the home side’s lead lasted just six min­utes as Rovers bounced back via Cop­pinger’s neat fin­ish from close range.

And on the half-hour mark Don­caster hit a quick-fire dou­ble to strike a body blow on Bar­net, through Mar­quis and Cop­pinger’s beau­ti­fully curled ef­fort.

“To go a goal down in the man­ner that we did, we re­acted very well and we were very clin­i­cal,” added Fer­gu­son.

“I felt we were pass­ing the ball back too much. We want to keep the ball, but I think when we passed it back we caused our own prob­lems.”

De­spite Rovers’ fly­ing form, Fer­gu­son still be­lieves that there is more to come from his team.

“We need to keep get­ting better and im­prov­ing. I have seen signs of im­prove­ment in the sec­ond half in terms of manag­ing the game,” he con­cluded.

“At times I don’t think they re­alise, some of them, how good they are.”

For Bar­net, it was a case of a bad day at the of­fice af­ter their form had shown signs of im­prove­ment un­der the man­age­ment team of Rossi Eames and Henry New­man, with a crunch clash against strug­gling New­port County on the hori­zon.

“It was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult. We never re­ally got go­ing,” said in­ter­im­boss Eames. “We thought in the first 15 min­utes we started well and the way we scored was ex­actly what we set out to do – and then we switched off.

“It was a shame be­cause at 3-1 down at half-time we have got to get back into the game. But they’re an ex­cel­lent team.

“They move the ball very well. The front men they have, and with Cop­pinger in the hole, he’s a very good player.

“Wher­ever they are in the league New­port’s a tough game, it’s a tough league, but we’ll do our home­work.”

PIC­TURES: Max Flego

STAR MAN JAMES COP­PINGER Don­caster HAPPY DAYS: John Mar­quis cel­e­brates scor­ing Don­caster’s sec­ond. In­set: John Akinde and Andy But­ler in ac­tion

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