Doncaster Rovers 1 Preston North End 3
Referee – Mr D Whitestone
Attendance – 5,681 (450 visitors)
The visitors, in black shirts and white shorts, got the game underway and almost immediately won successive corners, the second of which was headed over the bar by Mousinho. In the 5th minute the Rovers gained their first corner but it was cleared. Three minutes later and King, for Preston, hit a cracker from 35yards that hit the bar and went over. It was raining now as both sides probed for an opening. In the 17th minute, a corner to the Rovers was met by Brown with a header but it was straight at the keeper. End to end play followed but there was no end product from either side until the 33rd minute when a corner from the Preston left by Byrom was headed firmly into the net by KING. The Rovers tried to hit back and following a free kick on their left, Bennett crossed to the middle for Paynter to get in a header but Stuckmann saved. Then a good move by the Rovers ended with Cotterill getting the chance of a shot from 25 yards but he got under the ball and lifted it high and wide. Then, in the 44th minute, another good build-up brought a corner to the Rovers but nothing came from it. However, the Rovers pushed on and in the first minute of added time a free kick on the Rovers left touchline was hit into the middle by COTTERILL and skimmed off the top of Byrom’s head into the net for an equalising goal.
Half Time - Doncaster Rovers 1 Preston North End 1
The Rovers got the second half going and set off in their quest for more goals. However, despite some good play in the early minutes they didn’t trouble the keeper. Preston got forward once in the 52nd minute but Beavon’s shot was so tame it only just reached Gary Woods. A good move down the Rovers left followed with Paynter crossing from the byline and Jones heading over. Preston then got into the game and on the hour, Laird got forward and shot from 20yards but it was deflected for a corner. This was placed to the near post where the onrushing LAIRD glanced it into the net with his head. The Rovers pressed hard and won a corner when Brown’s shot was deflected. Cotterill’s corner created chaos in the Preston area before it was finally cleared. Bennett then had a shot blocked before Beavon shot high and wide from 25yards at the other end. In the 72nd minute BEAVON received halfway in the Rovers half with only three Rovers men spread across the back. He ran down the middle with the defender backing off and hit a low shot from 20yards into Woods’ bottom right hand corner. In the 76th minute a Cotterill free kick from the Rovers left touchline was headed out for a corner. Three more successive corners followed as the Rovers tried to force the ball into the net. The last corner was played short to Bennett and then back to Cotterill but he shot wide. Three minutes later and Bennett put Paynter through in the inside right position. He took it on before hitting a terrific shot that rattled the top of the near post and bounced away. The Preston defence was working overtime to keep their goal from being breached again. They finally succeeded when, after five added minutes the referee called time.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Cotterill 45+1 mins) Preston North End 3 (King 33 mins, Laird 60 mins, Beavon 72 mins)
Teams – ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, David Syers, Martin Woods, Kyle Bennett; Chris Brown, Billy Paynter
Subs not used – James Husband, Shelton Martis, Robbie Blake, Harry Middleton, Paul Keegan, Neil Sullivan gk
Caution – Spurr 31 mins; Cotterill 88 mins;
Preston North End – Thorsten Stuckmann; David Buchanan, Paul Huntington, Bailey Wright, Scott Laird; Jack King, John Mousinho ©, Joel Byrom, Joel Byrom; Chris Beardsley, Stuart Beavon
Subs used – Jeffrey Monakana for Amoo 58 mins; Andy Procter for Buchanan 75 mins;
Subs not used – Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Nicky Wroe, John Welsh, Will Hayhurst, Steve Simonsen gk
Cautions – Monakana 76 mins; Stuckmann 78 mins;