MYSTIC FERGIE GETS IT SPOT ON
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.”
STAR MAN JAMES COPPINGER Doncaster HAPPY DAYS: John Marquis celebrates scoring Doncaster’s second. Inset: John Akinde and Andy Butler in action