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Newport 0 Rovers 0

10 February 2017

Rovers battled to a point in testing circumstances at Newport County AFC.

Newport County AFC 0
Doncaster Rovers 0

Saturday, February 10
Rodney Parade
Sky Bet League Two

Rovers battled to a point in testing circumstances at Newport County AFC.

Darren Ferguson made two changes, with Joe Wright and Craig Alcock coming into the side at the expense of Mathieu Baudry and James Coppinger. The changes seemed designed to counter the sandy pitch and physical nature expected from the home side.

The game started brightly, with Ian Lawlor tipping over a close-range header from David Pipe in the first minute before Tommy Rowe had to be alert to head the ball away from the line.

Rovers first tested Joe Day in the home goal after 11 minutes. Matty Blair's cross from the right was intercepted, but fell into the path of Jordan Houghton. The on-loan Chelsea man's low drive was straight at the home keeper.

The next chance came after 19 minutes when Rovers won a corner after the ball was nicked away from Andy Williams in the area, the delivery was flicked on and found John Marquis and Craig Alcock lurking. It was scrambled away as neither managed to get a shot away.

Rovers had to be alert just after the half hour mark, with Mason twice heading away punts into the box before Butler conceded a corner from a long Mitchell Rose ball.

The corner came to nothing, but a free-kick was conceded just outside the area. Dan Butler tried to curl the ball into the far corner but Butler, again, rose highest to head it away.

The game had suddenly sprung into life, with Marquis getting away down the right before getting away a shot which Day did not hold. Williams picked up the loose ball, but his pullback was acrobatically cleared.

Blair caused more problems when he broke away after 37 minutes and pulled the ball back for Grant, but the on-loan Everton man's effort was straight at Day.

HALF-TIME | Newport 0 Rovers 0

Rovers were unchanged at the start of the second period, although the home side brought on Jaanai Gordon in place of Aaron Williams.

The second half was just as scrappy as the first, but Rovers enjoyed some success down the left. Dan Butler got in a vital clearance from Conor Grant's delivery.

The home side did not threaten until the 55th minute, when Rose blazed over from outside the area.

Chances remained at a premium, with Houghton getting a shot on goal following a corner after 69 minutes but was unable to get through the mass of defenders. Grant also tried a powerful drive which was blocked.

Rovers forced a succession of corners with 25 minutes to go, which were defended with increasing depseration by the home defence. The set-pieces ended after five attempts when Day did not clear properly, but 
Rovers were penalised for a handball.

Marquis' hard work was epitomised when he required lengthy treatment at the side of the pitch for a deep gash which later required stitches, and he picked up a late booking.

FULL-TIME | Newport 0 Rovers 0

ROVERS | Lawlor, Alcock, Butler (c), Wright, Mason, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Grant, Williams, Marquis. ROVERS SUBS | Etheridge, Keegan, Evina, Middleton, Walker, Beestin, May. BOOKED | Marquis.
NEWPORT XI | Day, Butler, Jones (c), Reid, Pipe, Nelson, O'Brien, Blanchard, Rose, Bird, Williams (Gordon). NEWPORT SUBS | Bittner, Samuel, Sheehan, Owen-Evans, Parselle, Flynn. BOOKED | Jones, Rose, Blanchard.
ATTENDANCE |2,653 (396 away)

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