DONCASTER ROVERS 1 Stevenage 1
Referee – Mr P Gibbs
Attendance – 5,910 (308 visitors)
A cool but fine afternoon greeted Stevenage for their first visit to the Keepmoat Stadium. It was also the first meeting between the two clubs in the Football League although the clubs last met in the Conference.
The Rovers were unchanged as they faced second place Stevenage, who had won all three games away from home. The Rovers defended the South Stand end in the first half.
Stevenage got the game underway and applied some early pressure, including a corner, which the Rovers easily withstood. The Rovers then attacked but they were repulsed. The game was being played at a fairly sedate pace but in the 15th minute Akins cut in from the Stevenage right and from the edge of the area hit a low shot that Gary Woods, diving full length to his right, tipped around a post. From the ensuing corner, RISSER headed just inside the far post to put the visitors in the lead in the 16th minute. Almost immediately the visitors attacked again, with Morais blasting in a shot from 25yards that went wide. In the 27th minute the Rovers won a corner, which Martin Woods put back to Cotterill, who took it on before firing goalwards. The ball was blocked with arm and body in the area but the referee ruled no penalty. The Rovers were having a good spell at this time and a free kick by Cotterill near the left byline looked to be going for the top far corner but landed on top of the net. Just past the half hour and the best chance yet for the Rovers but Cotterill put wide from 10yards. The Rovers were having more of the play at this stage but couldn’t find a way to goal. In the 40th minute a free kick to Stevenage saw Morais fire high over the bar then at the other end Syers got in a weak shot from 20yards that Day saved easily. In added time Bennett hit a cracker from 25yards that Day, diving right, got a hand to. The ball looped into the air to the post where Syers shot into the net but the linesman had his flag up for offside. The half ended after McCombe shot high and wide following another good attack by the Rovers.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Stevenage 1
James Harper was introduced to the game for the second half, replacing Keegan for the Rovers. Although the Rovers kicked off the second half the first ten minutes was mostly midfield play until Grant, for the visitors, hit a thirty yarder that Gary Woods tipped over the bar. Either side of the hour the Rovers brought on their other two permitted substitutes. In the 63rd minute Comminges got forward on the visitors left and hit a fierce drive that Woods saved well at the foot of the post. Then Cotterill got down the Rovers right and, although the cross was slightly behind Brown, he got a header in but it went wide. At the other end Morais put a free kick from the edge of the penalty area well over the bar. Then in the 79th minute the Rovers were awarded a free kick near the left corner flag. This caused some measure of panic in the Stevenage area before BROWN finally slammed it through a forest of legs into the net for an equalising goal. The tempo of the game and the backing of the crowd went up tremendously. Spurr ended a good Rovers move by firing low past the far post. Akins, for the visitors had a go from the left but the sheer number of bodies in the area blocked the ball, which was cleared down the Rovers left. Spurr took it on and crossed for Brown to shoot but Day saved with his legs. The Rovers pressed on and in the 89th minute a cross from Husband on the Rovers left was headed down by Jones but Day managed to get a hand to it and push it away. The Rovers pushed hard for another goal but it wasn’t to be but at least they had rescued a point.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Brown 79) Stevenage (Risser 16)
Teams – ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, David Syers, Paul Keegan, Martin Woods; Kyle Bennett, Chris Brown
Subs used – James Harper for Keegan 46 mins; Iain Hume for Martin Woods 56 mins; James Husband for Bennett 64 mins;
Subs not used –Shelton Martis, Robbie Blake, Jon Maxted gk
Caution – Cotterill 39 mins; Jones 69 mins; Hume 90+1 mins;
Stevenage – Chris Day; David Gray, Jon Ashton, Mark Roberts ©, Miguel Comminges; Lucas Akins, James Dunne, Oliver Risser, Phillipe Morais, Anthony Grant; Marcus Haber
Subs used – Greg Tansey or Morais 76 mins; Darius Charles for Haber 90+3 mins;
Subs not used –Luke Freeman, Dani Lopez, Bondz N’Gala, Robin Shroot, Steve Arnold gk
Caution – Haber 73 mins; Comminges 90+1 mins;