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Rovers 1 Blackpool 1

6 December 2016

Rovers bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy after a penalty shootout defeat.

Doncaster Rovers 1
(Williams 52)
Blackpool 1
(Gnanduillet 23)
Tuesday, December 6
Keepmoat Stadium
Checkatrade Trophy

Darren Ferguson made a number of changes from Saturday's win over Stevenage, with the manager using it as a chance to get game time for players who have been limited to substitute roles recently.

A quiet opening saw chances at a premium, with Blackpool's Armand Gnanduillet firing wide after five minutes in the first real opportunity.

Marko Marosi had to be at his best after 12 minutes, getting down to clear the ball off the line from a Gnanduillet header which looked destined for the bottom right corner. Moments earlier he had clawed away a Will Aimson effort.

Rovers' first real chance of the match came after 22 minutes, with the ball played across the area into the path of Alfie Beestin - the youngster's low driven shot was straight at Dean Lyness.

The Seasiders took the lead after 23 minutes. A long ball into the area found Mark Cullen, whose knock-down into the path of Gnanduillet was perfect for the forward to lash it past Marosi.

The visitors threatened again after 33 minutes when Mark Yeates played a one-two with Cullen, but his low shot was straight at Marosi.

There was also consternation after 37 minutes when Cullen took down the ball int he area, his attempt to loop the ball over Marosi was deflected just wide.

Rovers broke after 38 minutes when Andy Williams won the ball in the area,  but his powerful pull-back was behind all his team-mates.

It was picked up by Riccardo Calder. Space opened up as he rang past several players, but his low effort was pulled wide of the far post.

Rovers enjoyed plenty of the ball towards the end of the half, but there was still chance for Gnanduillet to test Marosi after dribbling into the area and getting away a low shot.

HALF-TIME: Rovers 0 Blackpool 1

Ferguson made two changes at the break, bringing on Mathieur Baudry and Jordan Houghton.

The Seasiders had the ball in the back of the net three minutes after the restart from a Cullen header, but the forward's effort was ruled out for offside.

Rovers levelled after 52 minutes when Andy Williams headed home into the bottom right corner from a deep Niall Mason delivery.

There was almost a repeat a minute later when the on-loan Aston Villa man got in a simiilar cross to Williams, who took the ball down but couldn't get his shot away after a crucial block.

Blackpool showed they could not be written off, with Gnanduillet flicking a header just wide of the far post following a corner.

Cullen also threatened after 58 minutes when he outpaced the backline and got a snapshot away which went just wide of the left post.

Beestin snatched at a half volley after 60 minutes, but it was straight at Lyness in the visiting goal.

Blackpool had the ball in the back of the net for a third time after 65 minutes, but again it was dismissed due to an assistant's raised flag.

Cullen had headed home, after the ball looped up off Marosi following Bright Osayi-Samuel's shot, but he was again in an offiside position.

Paul Keegan went close with a free-kick, awarded after substitute Liam Mandeville was brought down outside the area, after 80 minutes, after his effort got past the wall but went just wide of Lyness' right-hand post.

Will Longbottom also found himself getting a header in on goal, but aimed it too close to Lyness.

Baudry found himself in the thick of it after 84 minutes when an Alfie Beestin corner was played deep to him at the far post, but, with the ball seeming to come off his back, it went over the bar.

With no further chances, the tie was decided by a penalty shootout

It was a high quality shootout, with Marosi saving one for Rovers but Lyness denying Houghton and Longbottom to seal an 8-7 success for the visitors.

FULL-TIME:  Rovers 1 Blackpool 1
ROVERS | Marosi, Mason, Wright, Garratt (Baudry), Evina (Houghton), Keegan (C), Calder, Middleton, Beestin, Williams (Mandeville), Longbottom. ROVERS SUBS | Jones, Marquis, Rowe, Walker.
SEASIDERS XI | Lyness, McAlister, Aimson, Cullen, Nolan, Yeates, Philliskirk, Osayi-Samuel (Cameron), Higham, Cain (Roache), Gnanduillet (Redshaw). SEASIDERS SUBS | Boney, N'Guessan.
ATTENDANCE | 1,549 (99)

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