Luke Varney scored twice to lift managerless Portsmouth up to 15th and keep Doncaster in the relegation zone.

Varney capitalised on hestitation in the Doncaster defence following Stephen Henderson's long goal-kick to prod ahead beyond Neil Sullivan Portsmouth

Rovers levelled midway through the half when Simon Gillett fired into the roof of the net from a corner.

Dave Kitson restored Portsmouth's lead from a rebound and Varney sealed it by sweeping in Erik Huseklepp's cross.

The search for a permanent replacement for Steve Cotterill at Fratton Park will continue next week but caretaker bosses Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham presided over an impressive display.

Varney nipped in front of former Wimbledon and Tottenham goalkeeper Neil Sullivan to give them the ideal start and it was almost two when Kitson beat Sullivan to high ball but George Friend was able to hook his goalbound header clear.

Kitson headed another chance wide, while at the other end Henderson had to tip a fierce Kyle Bennett shot around his post.

However, former Southampton midfielder Gillett stunned the home crowd with a rising drive after John Oster had rolled a corner to him on the edge of the area.

Portsmouth started brightly after the break, Ricardo Rocha heading narrowly wide, Sullivan keeping out a low drive from Erik Huseklepp, Varney sending a snap-shot the wrong side of the post and Kitson heading a dangerous Greg Halford cross wide.

For Rovers a cross from Brian Stock came off the legs of David Norris and rolled agonisingly wide.

But Portsmouth deservedly regained the lead when Sullivan could not keep out a header from Norris and Kitson followed in to score, Varney completing the scoring with his fifth goal of the season after Kitson had played in Huseklepp to provide the telling assist.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Portsmouth

  • 13 Henderson
  • 03 Rocha Booked
  • 05 Pearce
  • 15 Halford
  • 26 Ben-Haim
  • 07 Lawrence
  • 08 Mullins
  • 10 Huseklepp (Ward - 87' )
  • 19 Norris
  • 11 Varney
  • 18 Kitson (Futacs - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Ashdown
  • 02 Ward
  • 04 Mokoena
  • 09 Futacs
  • 27 Kanu

Doncaster

  • 01 Sullivan
  • 03 Friend
  • 21 Hird
  • 31 Ilunga
  • 39 Chimbonda
  • 08 Stock
  • 16 Oster (Parkin - 77' )
  • 17 Barnes (Coppinger - 84' )
  • 18 Gillett
  • 10 Sharp Booked
  • 23 Bennett Booked (Hayter - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 38 Maxted
  • 05 Naylor
  • 26 Coppinger
  • 12 Hayter
  • 19 Parkin
Ref: Graham
Att: 12,779

Match Stats

Shots

10 3

On target

4 2

Corners

4 7

Fouls

7 4

Live Text Commentary

94:07 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +0:18

Shot from just outside the box by Joel Ward misses to the right of the goal.

89:11

Corner taken short by Liam Lawrence.

87:43

Shot from long range by Hayden Mullins goes wide of the left-hand upright.

86:32 Substitution

Substitution Marko Futacs is brought on as a substitute for Dave Kitson.

86:32 Substitution

Substitution Joel Ward is brought on as a substitute for Erik Huseklepp.

86:18

Effort on goal by Luke Varney from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

83:07 Substitution

Substitution James Coppinger replaces Giles Barnes.

82:16

Handball decision goes against Simon Gillett. Stephen Henderson takes the free kick.

81:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dave Kitson on Giles Barnes. Indirect free kick taken by Neil Sullivan.

80:20

Giles Barnes is penalised for a handball. Stephen Henderson takes the indirect free kick.

79:02

Giles Barnes takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Dave Kitson.

77:16

Unfair challenge on Brian Stock by Dave Kitson results in a free kick. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

76:47

Luke Varney is caught offside. Free kick taken by Neil Sullivan.

75:47 Substitution

Substitution Jon Parkin replaces John Oster.

75:47 Substitution

Substitution (Doncaster) makes a substitution, with James Hayter coming on for Kyle Bennett.

74:34

Assist by Erik Huseklepp.

74:34 Goal scored

Goal! - Luke Varney - Portsmouth 3 - 1 Doncaster Luke Varney grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Portsmouth 3-1 Doncaster.

67:04

Assist by David Norris.

67:04 Goal scored

Goal! - Dave Kitson - Portsmouth 2 - 1 Doncaster Dave Kitson finds the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Portsmouth 2-1 Doncaster.

65:11

John Oster takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.

63:36

Free kick awarded for a foul by George Friend on Luke Varney. Liam Lawrence produces a cross, Dave Kitson produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

59:36

The official flags Luke Varney offside. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

56:21 Booking

Booking Booking for Kyle Bennett.

56:08

Liam Lawrence fouled by Kyle Bennett, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Greg Halford.

55:01

Billy Sharp is caught offside. Free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.

54:17

Kyle Bennett takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

53:01

Corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence to the near post, Pascal Chimbonda manages to make a clearance.

51:06

The ball is swung over by Kyle Bennett.

49:05

Erik Huseklepp takes a shot. Neil Sullivan makes a save.

47:12

Headed effort from inside the area by Ricardo Rocha misses to the left of the goal.

46:49

Inswinging corner taken by Liam Lawrence from the left by-line, clearance by George Friend.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +2:04 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

42:39

Corner from the right by-line taken by John Oster, clearance by Dave Kitson.

41:58

Dave Kitson concedes a free kick for a foul on Herita Ilunga. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

39:57

The offside flag is raised against Giles Barnes. Free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.

34:51 Booking

Booking Billy Sharp goes into the book.

34:42 Booking

Booking The referee books Ricardo Rocha for unsporting behaviour.

34:19

Hayden Mullins challenges Kyle Bennett unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Oster restarts play with the free kick.

31:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Tal Ben-Haim on Pascal Chimbonda. Free kick taken by Sam Hird.

29:35

Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Lawrence on Simon Gillett. Neil Sullivan takes the indirect free kick.

28:57

Liam Lawrence takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Pascal Chimbonda.

26:45

John Oster provided the assist for the goal.

26:45 Goal scored

Goal! - Simon Gillett - Portsmouth 1 - 1 Doncaster A goal is scored by Simon Gillett from just outside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Portsmouth 1-1 Doncaster.

26:24

Corner taken by John Oster from the left by-line,

26:08

Kyle Bennett takes a shot. Stephen Henderson makes a save.

24:31

Brian Stock crosses the ball, save by Stephen Henderson.

23:48

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by John Oster, Dave Kitson manages to make a clearance.

22:27

Pascal Chimbonda gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Erik Huseklepp. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.

19:08

Centre by Giles Barnes, save made by Stephen Henderson.

17:53

Greg Halford crosses the ball.

16:56

Corner taken right-footed by John Oster from the right by-line, clearance by Dave Kitson.

11:59

The assistant referee flags for offside against Giles Barnes. Stephen Henderson takes the free kick.

11:04

Headed effort from inside the box by Dave Kitson misses to the right of the target.

9:45

George Friend fouled by Dave Kitson, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by George Friend.

8:33

Inswinging corner taken by John Oster from the left by-line played to the near post, Luke Varney manages to make a clearance.

7:12

Centre by Greg Halford.

5:21

Sam Hird concedes a free kick for a foul on Dave Kitson. Tal Ben-Haim takes the free kick.

2:18

The assist for the goal came from Stephen Henderson.

2:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Luke Varney - Portsmouth 1 - 0 Doncaster A goal is scored by Luke Varney from deep inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Portsmouth 1-0 Doncaster.

1:45

Luke Varney is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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