It’s a share of the spoils at the Keepmoat as a Matt Smith equaliser earns a third round replay in the FA Cup.Doncaster Rovers- 1 (McCullough- 50)
Bristol City- 1 (Smith- 75)
Saturday 3rd January, 2015
FA Cup Round 3
A late surge from League One leaders Britsol City saw them get an equalising goal to earn a third round replay at Ashton gate.
Paul Dickov named the same side that were victorious at the Keepmoat against Coventry City on Boxing Day.
Richie Wellens returned from injury to replace Marc De Val, whilst Nathan Tyson also had a spot on the bench after being out injured.
Rovers started the game on the front foot and and some lively play saw them put pressure on Steve Cotterill’s side right from the off. Pressing high up the pitch, they disrupted the visitors.
The first chance of the game came just five minutes in as James Coppinger played a through ball to Theo Robinson. The striker’s first time shot took a deflection and Dean Furman’s header on the rebound went just over Frank Fielding’s crossbar.
Harry Forrester picked up where he left off on Boxing Day and continued to cause problems down the left flank. His inch perfect pass put Furman through one on one with Fielding but the Bristol keeper was quick off his line to make a brave save and deny Rovers the opener.
Todd Kane showed his pace as he broke through the defence. Seeing the Rovers keeper off his line he tried a long range shot but Johnstone recovered well to make a good save.
The best chance of the half came 30 minutes in as a sliced Forrester shot fell Andy Butler at the far post. The angle was against the defender as he headed the ball across the face of goal, but no Rovers player was able to get on the end of it.
There was controversy shortly before half time as a Rovers penalty appeal was turned down. Forrester in the thick of the action again, released a shot from the edge of the area. It appeared to strike the arm of Luke Ayling but referee Mr. S.Duncan waved play on.
Despite Rovers being on top, the teams went in level at the break.
It took just five minutes after coming back out for Rovers to break the deadlock and take the lead through Luke McCullough. A Forrester corner fell to McCullough in the six yard box and the Northern Ireland International hooked his shot into the top corner.
The visitors best chance of the game came through Jay Emmanuel-Thomas as he found himself one on one with Johnstone after a slip from McCullough, but the Manchester United loanee saved brilliantly with his legs.
Bristol upped their game and enjoyed a better spell of possession. On 75 minutes Matt Smith rose above his marker to head home a cross from Luke Ayling.
Substitute Kyle Bennett went close for the home side as he drilled one towards the bottom corner which had Fielding scrambling.
Bennett had a golden chance to win the game for Rovers and send them through to the fourth round in stoppage time. Good work from Coppinger saw the ball fall to Bennett who fired over the bar from six yards.
Both teams go into the hat for the fourth round, but a replay at Ashton Gate will decide the winner.
Team line ups-
Rovers: Sam Johnstone, Enda Stevens, Andy Butler, Luke McCullough, Reece Wabara, Richie Wellens, Paul Keegan, Dean Furman (Nathan Tyson- 88), James Coppinger, Theo Robinson (Curtis Main- 78), Harry Forrester (Kyle Bennett- 78).
Subs not used: Marko Marosi, Liam Wakefield, Jamie McCombe, Harry Middleton.
Bristol City: Frank Fielding, Mark Little, Joe Bryan, Luke Ayling, Aden Flint, Derrick Williams, Todd Kane (Marlon Pack- 82), Korey Smith (Luke Freeman- 88), Wade Elliott, Matt Smith, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Subs not used: Dave Richards, Jordan Wynter, Greg Cunningham, Karleigh Osborne, Scott Wagstaff
Cautions: Mark Little, Todd Kane