Rovers - 0
Blackpool - 1 (Cullen 87’)
Monday 28th March
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
SkyBet League One
Rovers had very little time to recover from Friday’s 4-1 defeat away to Colchester and that defeat made today’s match even more important.
Following the defeat on Good Friday Darren Ferguson made a number of changes to his side. Andy Williams was bought back into the side, as was Riccardo Calder and Mitchell Lund. 17 year old Will Longbottom was also named on the bench after impressing in the Development side this season.
Rovers started the game well and pressured the Blackpool defence. Andy Williams and Gary McSheffrey linked up well going forward before Harry Middleton hit one from 25 yards that went just wide.
Remi Matthews was however called into action and made a wonderful save as he got down low to stop a shot from ten yards.
There were huge shouts for handball all around the Keepmoat as Williams pressure the defender. As the ball flicked up it caught him on the hand but the referee waved play on resulting in boos around the ground.
Despite enjoying possession, luck wasn’t going Rovers way and on the stroke of half time a corner resulted in a crazy goalmouth scramble. The ball was inches away from crossing the line, Lund and Williams both tried but Blackpool put bodies on the goal line and somehow cleared.
It was end to end and the last chance of the half fell to the visitors but Matthews again made a terrific reaction save. As Mark Cullen broke through one on one, the Norwich loanee got down quickly to deny him.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-0 Blackpool
Rovers continued to be the better side but Blackpool did have chances on the break. Craig Alcock put in a man of the match performance and threw everything at it. He was there to deny the visitors the opener and clear Hingham’s looping header off the line after Matthews was beaten.
Cameron Stewart and Nathan Tyson were introduced to the game and livened the second half up. Wolves loanee Tommy Rowe came within inches of giving Rovers a deserved lead when he hit a rocket at goal with his left foot. With Doyle well beaten everyone could only watch as it bounced down on the goal line off the underside of the bar.
Tyson and Middleton both had chances and forced Doyle into saves as they shot from the edge of the area but in the 87th minute totally against the run of play Blackpool took the lead in horrid fashion.
Mark Cullen found himself in the box and scuffed a horrible shot at goal. Andy Butler knew very little about it but the ball deflected off him and looped over Matthews who could do nothing.
Rovers tried to draw level but it wasn’t to be and despite an improved performance, were unable to take anything from the game.
Rovers: Matthews, Alcock, Lund, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Rowe, Calder (Stewart 71’), Middleton, McSheffrey (Tyson 71’), Coppinger ©, Williams
Unused Subs: Stuckmann, Evina, Chaplow, Mandeville, Longbottom
Cautions: Butler 14’ , Middleton 38’ , Williams 70'
Blackpool: Doyle (c), White, McAlister (Osayi-Samuel 66’), Robertson, Potts, Cullen, Aldred, Philliskirk, Norris (Smith 84’), Higham, Blyth (Paterson 79’)
Unused Subs: Ferguson, Letheren, Aimson, Yeates
Cautions: Philliskirk 69'
Attendance: 5,575 (407)