Doncaster 3-1 Portsmouth Player Ratings: bullish Butler

donnyA John Marquis brace helped Doncaster to a 3-1 win over Portsmouth on Thursday night to go 10 points clear in the League Two promotion race. But which players stood out?

Doncaster Rovers

Marko Marosi – did well in the first half and could do little about Naismith’s goal. Made a superb stop from Lalkovic before his unfortunate injury. 8

Craig Alcock – made some good runs down the right in the early stages. Steady and dependable thereon. 7
Matthieu Baudry – could have got nearer to Naismith for the goal but reasonably solid. Made some good blocks late on. 6
Andy Butler – strong in the air throughout and bullied Smith with his upper body strength. 9
Niall Mason – showed plenty of energy getting up and down the flank. Not the best end product and could have been quicker to close down opponents on his wing. 4

Jordan Houghton – his timid positioning was sometimes shrewd, but sometimes it allowed opposing teams to get crosses in too easily. Gave the ball away for the equalizer. 5
Tommy Rowe – showed great technique, both for his goal and cross for the team’s third. Had his quiet spells but popped up with two key contributions. 7
Conor Grant – Naismith’s inroads meant he was forced to track back for large spells of the first half, limiting his attacking influence. Won a free-kick with which he hit the wall and normally passed short. 5
Matty Blair – anonymous in an attacking sense and taken off early in the second half. 3

James Coppinger – combined well with Alcock early on and put some good deliveries into the box, including his cross for Marquis’ goal. Laid off Rowe for Donny’s second. Pressed high up the pitch. 8
John Marquis – made the most of good service in the first 15 minutes and provided an aerial threat in the box. There were spells where he did not get as much support and drifted out to the right, but worked hard throughout and deserved his two goals. 8

Andy Williams (on 55) – showed good movement and looked lively, a sign he is ready to provide strong competition for a starting place up front. 8
Harry Middleton (on 67) – not the greatest creative input, but Doncaster were on the back foot in the latter stages. 5

Portsmouth

David Forde – rarely touched the ball in the first half bar picking it out of the net. One or two signs in the second half that his age may be catching up with him. 2

Gareth Evans – one of Pompey’s livelier performers and his attacking presence helped Naismith, particularly in the first half. End product could have been better but crossed for Lalkovic’s chance late on. 7
Christian Burgess – reasonably solid in the first half, but sometimes got pushed back too much for comfort. 4
Matt Clarke – won a lot of headers but some of them went to the opposing team. One first half nod though forced a splendid save from Marosi. 5
Enda Stevens – provided a steady platform going forward in the first half and put in a good cross in before Evans’ volley. Could have been more aggressive defensively. 5

Daniel Rose – played a lot of simple forward passes to feet, but also slipped over on one or two occasions and could have been braver at times. 3
Michael Doyle – took a booking in breaking up Grant’s run and dropped back to clear some of Donny’s attacks. His deep positioning may be tactical, or down to a fear of asserting himself further up the pitch. 4

Kal Naismith – Pompey’s best player in the first half. Looked lively and deserved his goal. 7
Kyle Bennett – struggled to get involved in the first 30 minutes. Had bright spells including an assist for Naismith’s opener, but his body language out of possession suggested a lack of focus. 4
Carl Baker – had a quiet first half. Lacked the pace required to cause problems in the final third. 3

Michael Smith – was bullied aerially by Baudry and Butler. Struggled when asked to run in behind. 2

Milan Lalkovic (on 62) – looked lively, if a bit keen on repetitive stepovers. Forced a good save from Marosi with his back-post header. 6
Gary Roberts (on 67) – did not have the energy required to affect the tempo of the game. 4
Conor Chaplin (on 75)

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