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Coca Cola League 1 Play Off

25 May 2008

The Coca Cola League 1 Play Off Final
Doncaster 1 - 0 Leeds
Attendance: 75,132

James Hayter's second half header secured Doncaster a place in the Championship for the first time in over 50 years.

Goalkeeper Casper Ankergren kept Leeds in the game with two great first half saves from James Coppinger and Hayter.

Doncaster then took a deserved lead on 46 minutes when the unmarked Hayter headed home a corner from six yards.

Leeds pushed forward and dominated possession late on but had few clear cut chances as Rovers held on.

Promotion to the second tier of English football is a remarkable feat for a club who were playing Conference football five years ago.

For Leeds, it is now a case of a second season in League 1 following a season clouded in controversy after they were deducted 15 points by the Football League.

They were the better side at Wembley, even though Leeds went all out on attack in the final 10 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

Rovers had a number of opportunities to take the lead inside the first 10 minutes as Leeds struggled to cope with Doncaster's slick passing.

Leeds - who started this season on minus 15 points for breaking insolvency rules - were vulnerable down the flanks and had it not been for Ankergren, Doncaster would have been out of sight.

In the ninth minute, the Danish 'keeper came quickly off his line to pluck the ball from Coppinger's feet when the midfielder was clear and a minute later the 28 year old produced a brilliant one handed save to stop Hayter's run towards goal.

Before that, Jason Price and Richie Wellens both should have found the target in what was a blistering start from Doncaster.

Leeds gradually tamed the onslaught but Doncaster keeper Neil Sullivan was hardly troubled; their best chance coming near the end of the half when Jonathan Howson's long range effort sailed inches above the crossbar.

Only a minute of the second half had elapsed when Hayter gave Rovers the lead with his first goal since January.

It was a moment of bad defending from Leeds but no less than Sean O'Driscoll's men deserved.

leeds pushed forwards in search of the equaliser; Howson again tried his luck from distance while Beckford shot fromo an acute angle to force a save from Sullivan.

Howson was becoming more influential in midfield, and in the final 10 minutes the ball was mostly in the Doncaster half as Leeds bombarded the opposition goal.

Sullivan was equal to the test and even with five minutes of injury time Leeds could not get through an impregnable defence.


Doncaster: Sullivan, O'Connor, Mills, Hird, Gareth Roberts, Green, Stock, Wellens (McCammon, 71), Coppinger (Guy, 86), Price (Lockwood, 80), Hayter.
Subs not used: Smith, Taylor.

Leeds: Ankergren, Richardson, Huntington, Michalik, Johnson, Kilkenny, Howson, Douglas, Prutton (Kandol, 69), Beckford, Freedman (Hughes, 77).
Subs Not used: Lucas, Marques, Sheehan.

Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

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