Doncaster striker Billy Sharp opened the scoring on an emotional night at the Keepmoat Stadium, but Middlesbrough came from behind to win.

Before kick-off Rovers announced that captain Sharp's two-day-old son had died on Saturday. The striker's response was to dedicate a stunning early volley to his memory.

Barry Robson's drive restored parity, and a mistake by Neil Sullivan allowed Marvin Emnes to grab a second.

Robson sealed the win with a penalty.

A minute's applause marked the tragically short life of Sharp's little boy Luey before kick-off and the forward sent fans at the Keepmoat Stadium into raptures when he netted a stunning dipping volley inside the first 15 minutes.

Sharp, who was named captain for the night, revealed a message to his son on a T-shirt underneath his Doncaster strip as he ran towards the home fans in celebration and referee Darren Deadman did not issue a yellow card.

Boro pulled level after 30 minutes when Robson was allowed a free run towards the Doncaster goal and he drove a 20-yard effort into the bottom corner.

New signing El-Hadji Diouf  impressed in the opening exchanges, but an early strike was dealt with comfortably by Steele.

Tony Mowbray's side upped the tempo and were ahead in first-half stoppage time when Scott McDonald released Faris Haroun down the right. The Belgian's low cross was met by Emnes, whose close-range effort was weak but Sullivan fumbled and the ball trickled into his empty net.

Doncaster Rovers team

Doncaster players pay their respects before kick-off

Boro's third came with 66 minutes gone when former Scotland international Sullivan failed to hold a drive from Emnes, and although he managed to thwart Robson's follow-up, in the ensuing melee Pascal Chimbonda bundled Tony McMahon to the floor and referee Deadman pointed to the spot.

Sullivan guessed correctly, but Robson's well-struck penalty to the goalkeeper's left comfortably found the net.

Doncaster looked to respond late on through George Friend, who saw two long-range efforts well saved.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Doncaster

  • 01 Sullivan
  • 03 Friend Booked
  • 04 Martis
  • 05 Naylor Booked
  • 31 Ilunga
  • 39 Chimbonda Booked
  • 13 Mason (Coppinger - 59' )
  • 18 Gillett
  • 10 Sharp
  • 12 Hayter (Bennett - 59' )
  • 19 Diouf (Barnes - 73' )

Substitutes

  • 38 Maxted
  • 02 O'Connor
  • 17 Barnes
  • 26 Coppinger
  • 23 Bennett

Middlesbrough

  • 01 Steele
  • 02 Hoyte (Haroun - 22' )
  • 03 Bennett
  • 04 Bates
  • 06 McManus Booked
  • 14 Williams
  • 29 McMahon
  • 10 Bailey Booked (Arca - 70' )
  • 17 Robson
  • 07 McDonald
  • 09 Emnes (Zemmama - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Zemmama
  • 18 Arca
  • 38 Haroun
  • 11 Kink
  • 16 Ogbeche
Ref: Deadman
Att: 9,792

Match Stats

Shots

13 12

On target

3 7

Corners

5 4

Fouls

13 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:57

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Giles Barnes, George Friend takes a shot.

90:00 +4:52

The ball is crossed by Giles Barnes, blocked by Joe Bennett.

90:00 +4:34 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +3:17

Richard Naylor has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the goal.

90:00 +2:36

George Friend fouled by Barry Robson, the ref awards a free kick. Simon Gillett takes the direct free kick.

87:25

Headed effort from inside the area by Shelton Martis misses to the left of the target.

84:09

Tony McMahon fouled by Herita Ilunga, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tony McMahon from right wing, clearance made by Giles Barnes.

83:05 Substitution

Substitution Merouane Zemmama replaces Marvin Emnes.

82:21

Centre by Barry Robson, Pascal Chimbonda gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tony McMahon, clearance made by Shelton Martis.

81:13

Scott McDonald produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

79:36

Effort from the edge of the area by Giles Barnes goes wide of the right-hand upright.

77:39

Barry Robson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richard Naylor. Neil Sullivan takes the free kick.

77:10

George Friend has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.

76:13

Unfair challenge on Rhys Williams by James Coppinger results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Rhys Williams.

75:28

Herita Ilunga produces a cross.

74:25

James Coppinger takes a shot. Matthew Bates gets a block in.

72:19 Substitution

Substitution Giles Barnes comes on in place of El-Hadji Diouf.

72:19

Shot from outside the area by Kyle Bennett misses to the left of the goal.

69:55 Substitution

Substitution (Middlesbrough) makes a substitution, with Julio Arca coming on for Nicky Bailey.

68:58

Effort from the edge of the area by George Friend goes wide of the right-hand upright.

67:36

Free kick crossed left-footed by Barry Robson from right wing, save by Neil Sullivan.

67:36 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Pascal Chimbonda for dissent.

67:19 Booking

Booking Nicky Bailey booked for dissent.

66:11

Shelton Martis challenges Nicky Bailey unfairly and gives away a free kick.

65:35

Tony McMahon provided the assist for the goal.

65:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Barry Robson - Doncaster 1 - 3 Middlesbro Penalty taken left-footed by Barry Robson and scored. Doncaster 1-3 Middlesbrough.

63:38

Marvin Emnes takes a shot. Save by Neil Sullivan. Pascal Chimbonda concedes a Penalty for a foul on Tony McMahon.

61:23

Shelton Martis concedes a free kick for a foul on Jason Steele. Jason Steele takes the indirect free kick.

61:12

A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, Jason Steele makes a save.

60:59

Short corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf.

58:27 Substitution

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

58:27 Substitution

Substitution James Coppinger replaces Ryan Mason.

56:55

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Mason played to the near post, Marvin Emnes manages to make a clearance.

56:12

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Stephen McManus. Free kick taken by George Friend.

55:56

The referee blows for offside. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

55:34

James Hayter gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Barry Robson. Jason Steele takes the free kick.

55:04

Barry Robson crosses the ball, Faris Haroun produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.

53:38

Scott McDonald takes a shot. Save made by Neil Sullivan.

52:35

Marvin Emnes produces a cross, save by Neil Sullivan.

49:05

Barry Robson takes the free kick.

49:05 Booking

Booking George Friend goes into the book.

49:01

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Faris Haroun by George Friend.

47:39

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Mason from the left by-line, clearance made by Nicky Bailey.

47:19

The ball is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf.

46:50

Nicky Bailey takes a shot. Save made by Neil Sullivan.

45:26

Faris Haroun takes a shot. Neil Sullivan makes a save. Billy Sharp gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott McDonald. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +3:21 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +0:54

Faris Haroun provided the assist for the goal.

45:00 +0:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Marvin Emnes - Doncaster 1 - 2 Middlesbro Marvin Emnes finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Doncaster 1-2 Middlesbrough.

42:53

Short corner taken by Tony McMahon.

41:26

Ryan Mason takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.

39:56

Stephen McManus fouled by El-Hadji Diouf, the ref awards a free kick. Nicky Bailey takes the free kick.

38:17

Shot from just outside the box by Scott McDonald goes over the crossbar.

37:38

A cross is delivered by Tony McMahon, save by Neil Sullivan.

35:52

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Neil Sullivan.

35:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicky Bailey by Shelton Martis. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.

33:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen McManus on Billy Sharp.

33:38

Direct free kick taken by Herita Ilunga.

33:38 Booking

Booking The referee shows Stephen McManus a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

33:01

Barry Robson sends in a cross, Header on goal by Stephen McManus from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

32:03

Barry Robson takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Shelton Martis.

31:48

Corner taken by Barry Robson from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by James Hayter.

29:46 Goal scored

Goal! - Barry Robson - Doncaster 1 - 1 Middlesbro Barry Robson gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Doncaster 1-1 Middlesbrough.

29:43 Booking

Booking Richard Naylor is shown a yellow card.

25:31

Barry Robson takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.

24:53

The ball is delivered by Tony McMahon, Rhys Williams takes a shot. Save by Neil Sullivan.

23:49

Joe Bennett concedes a free kick for a foul on James Hayter. Richard Naylor restarts play with the free kick.

22:48

Matthew Bates challenges Billy Sharp unfairly and gives away a free kick. George Friend restarts play with the free kick.

19:57

The referee blows for offside against Stephen McManus. Neil Sullivan takes the indirect free kick.

19:57 Substitution

Substitution Faris Haroun on for Justin Hoyte.

19:57

El-Hadji Diouf is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jason Steele takes the indirect free kick.

17:14

Corner taken by Ryan Mason from the right by-line to the near post, George Friend takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen McManus.

15:50

Shot on goal by El-Hadji Diouf from just inside the area goes over the target.

13:02

James Hayter provided the assist for the goal.

13:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy Sharp - Doncaster 1 - 0 Middlesbro Billy Sharp gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Doncaster 1-0 Middlesbrough.

12:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy Sharp by Barry Robson. Free kick taken by Richard Naylor.

9:38

Close range header by George Friend misses to the right of the goal.

8:45

Tony McMahon concedes a free kick for a foul on Billy Sharp. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ryan Mason.

8:14

The referee blows for offside. Neil Sullivan restarts play with the free kick.

4:39

Jason Steele fouled by Billy Sharp, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jason Steele.

3:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rhys Williams on Herita Ilunga. Herita Ilunga restarts play with the free kick.

2:29

Herita Ilunga challenges Tony McMahon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tony McMahon takes the indirect free kick.

0:20

James Hayter concedes a free kick for a foul on Barry Robson. Free kick taken by Nicky Bailey.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers