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Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 16:59 UK
Doncaster 1-0 Leeds

By Aimee Lewis

James Hayter
Hayter scores his first goal for Doncaster since January

James Hayter's second-half header secured Doncaster a place in the second tier of English football 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 47 minutes when the unmarked Hayter headed home a corner from 10 yards.

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

Promotion to the Championship is a remarkable feat for a club who were playing Conference football five years ago.

Victory was no less than they deserve however as throughout this season Doncaster have played with an attractiveness befitting of a Championship side.

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

Interview: Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan

Doncaster 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 great opportunities to take the lead inside the first 10 minutes as Leeds struggled to cope with Doncaster's slick passing.

Leeds 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 two minutes 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 the Sean O'Driscoll's men deserved.

Leeds pushed forward in search of the equaliser; Howson again tried his luck from distance while Beckford shot from 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.

Booked: Mills, Sullivan.

Goals: Hayter 48.

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

Booked: Prutton, Howson.

Att: 75,132

Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Doncaster's James Hayter 7.45 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

  • see also
    Live - League One play-off final
    25 May 08 |  League One
    League One play-off photos
    25 May 08 |  Football
    Doncaster v Leeds
    23 May 08 |  League One
    Leeds eye 'fantastic achievement'
    23 May 08 |  Leeds United
    O'Driscoll sizes up Wembley pitch
    23 May 08 |  Doncaster
    Lawro's Play-off predictions
    23 May 08 |  Football
    Ticket sales suspended at Rovers
    22 May 08 |  West Yorkshire
    Yorkshire on the rise
    23 May 08 |  League One
    Rovers pair to be fit for final
    19 May 08 |  Doncaster
    O'Driscoll stays calm after win
    16 May 08 |  Doncaster
    Doncaster 5-1 Southend (Agg 5-1)
    16 May 08 |  League One
    Carlisle 0-2 Leeds (agg 2-3)
    15 May 08 |  League One

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