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The basement battle between Doncaster and Crewe Alexandra had major implications at the bottom end of the League One table, with Gary McSheffrey‘s side boosting their survival bid while condemning the Railwaymen to League Two football for the 2022-23 season.
Crewe Alexandra simply had to win to avoid being the first side in the top four divisions to suffer relegation this season, but Doncaster quickly went ahead through left-back Tommy Rowe before Josh Martin wrapped up a pivotal three points just after the restart.
One team has already bitten the dust, and Doncaster are still very close to joining them in the fourth tier for the 2022-23 season, with McSheffrey’s side remaining 23rd in the rankings and five points off the safety of 20th spot with only four games to go.
The hosts’ League One destiny is therefore out of their own hands ahead of clashes with Shrewsbury Town, Burton Albion and Oxford United before the season is up, but ending a six-game run without a win and five-game run without a goal is a cause for optimism ahead of the Good Friday fixtures.
Doncaster lost right-back Kyle Knoyle to an unspecified injury on the 71-minute mark against Crewe Alexandra, with Ollie Younger waiting in the wings should he be needed to deputise.
McSheffrey also continues to make do without Fejiri Okenabirhie, Tom Anderson and Kieran Agard for the final few games of the season, and Jon Taylor is out of hospital following an illness but still has his ankle injury to contend with.
Barring the potential inclusion of Younger if Knoyle is not passed fit to feature, McSheffrey should see no reason to alter a winning formula after a professional showing last time out.
As for Bolton, Evatt is worried about the prospect of Ricardo Santos missing the rest of the season with a hamstring issue, while Oladapo Afolayan and Kyle Dempsey have injuries in the same area.
Afolayan was able to make the bench against Wednesday, where Declan John was also forced off with hamstring tightness and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was withdrawn due to back pain.
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Goalkeeper James Trafford is one of a number of Bolton players to have come down with illness recently, and Evatt could therefore consider bringing Joel Dixon back in between the posts.
Doncaster Rovers possible starting lineup:
Mitchell; Younger, Williams, Olowu, Rowe; Clayton, Bostock, Smith; Barlow, Griffiths, Martin
Bolton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Dixon; Jones, Aimston, Johnston, Gordon; Kachunga, Williams, Morley, Sadlier; Charles, Bakayoko