Saturday, 20th April, 2013 at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Npower League 1
Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 1
Referee – Mr Philip Gibbs
Attendance – 12,624 (695)
The last home game of the season brings Notts County to the Keepmoat. The weather was perfect for the occasion, fine, dry and sunshine brightening the whole season up. Before the match, war hero Ben Parkinson walked on his synthetic legs to the centre spot to place the ball on the centre spot receiving tremendous applause throughout the time it took.
The Rovers, defending the North Stand end, kicked off against the pink shirted County side. After an early flurry, however, it was the visitors who made the running in the first 15 minutes. Judge had the first real strike at goal in the 8th minute from 25 yards but Sullivan saved. Two minutes later, a corner to the visitors on their right was placed to the far post where Arquin laid the ball back to Leacock, who fired over from 20yards. Then, in the 14th minute, the County were awarded a free kick about thirty yards out. LABADIE took the kick and arrowed it well out of Sullivan’s reach and into the top far corner. The Rovers now had to get their game together and pressed hard. Lundstram hit a bouncing ball from 30yards high over the bar and a corner to the Rovers was headed wide by Jones. Past the half hour and Paynter headed wide from a Cotterill cross on the right. The Rovers were trying hard but not making any headway against the Notts defence. A corner to the visitors in the 38th minute interrupted the Rovers pressure but two minutes later, the best piece of football from the Rovers so far came down their left with Spurr and Coppinger combining. The latter got in a good strike but it was blocked and came out to Lundstram, who hit a thunderous drive from 20yards that Spiess managed to tip over the bar. Immediately the Rovers came again and after a goalmouth melee in which they tried twice to force the ball over the goal-line, Spiess dropped on the ball. It seemed to be only a matter of time before a goal came but instead half time intervened.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 1
The visitors started the second half but the Rovers were soon on the attack. Two minutes in and a long throw-in into the Notts area from Husband was back-headed by Coppinger to Paynter but he headed wide. The Rovers tried hard to break down the Notts defence but could not find a way through. Corners, free kicks and shots were all dealt with by the Notts defence and their goalkeeper, who was worked hard but his punching of the ball away was first class. A low free kick from Coppinger, which went through the wall was well saved by the unsighted Speiss, shots were blocked from Coppinger and Syers and Jones, moving up front, could not get his headers on target. There were no clear cut chances for the Rovers and despite six minutes of added time because of time wasting the whistle went on a win for Notts County and the Rovers chances of automatic promotion were left hanging by a thread.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 1 (Labadie 14)
Teams – ROVERS – Neil Sullivan; James Husband, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, John Lundstram, Dean Furman, James Coppinger; Billy Paynter, Chris Brown
Subs used – David Syers for Lundstram 63 mins; Kyle Bennett for Cotterill 77 mins; Iain Hume for Paynter 77 mins;
Subs not used – Paul Quinn, Liam Wakefield, Cameron Howieson, Gary Woods gk
Cautions – Jones 34 mins; Bennett 90+5 mins;
Notts County – Fabian Spiess; Gary Liddle, Dean Leacock ©, Krystian Pearce,Alan Sheehan; Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Joss Labadie, Jeff Hughes, Alan Judge; Yoann Arquin, Tyrell Waite
Subs used – Francois Zoko for Waite 65 mins; Hamza Bencherif for Campbell-Ryce 90+4 mins;
Subs not used – Emmanuele Smith, Curtis Thompson, Hayden Hollis, Romello Nangle, Kevin Pilkington gk
Caution – Judge 63 mins;