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Rovers Development 0 Walsall Reserves 0

27 March 2018

Doncaster Rovers’ Development side battled to a goalless draw against Walsall at Cantley Park on Tuesday afternoon.

John Schofield made eight changes to the side that went down 4-0 to Grimsby Town last Tuesday, with none of the regular first team squad members available to him. Danny Amos and Louis Jones were among those coming into the starting XI.

The game’s opening chance fell within the first two minutes, with the visitors looking to take an early lead.

A ball through from Stef Mason found its way towards Saddlers’ skipper Jordan Sangha, however Jones was equal to the midfielder’s shot just inside the area to keep Walsall at bay.

The first half after that was very tight, with both sides restricting the other to half chances as the period went on.

Jacob Fletcher pressured Milan Butterfield into a mistake, and he fed the ball across to captain Cody Prior, however his effort was well over the bar, not troubling Brandon Ganley in the Walsall goal.

Late on in the half and Rovers went close to taking the lead, as Will Longbottom’s surge down the left-hand side saw him create enough space to cross into the area.

Callum Cockerill-Mollett looked to clear the ball away from danger as the ball was swung in, but he could only strike his attempted clearance against teammate Mason, with Ganley having to be on his toes to prevent Rovers from going in front.

The second half began similarly to the first, with Jones once again getting the better of Sangha.
Sangha saw the ball flick up to him on the edge of the Rovers’ penalty area, but his half-volley was held well by Jones to deny the Walsall man.

James Morris was next to try his luck for Rovers, after good work down the right by Rieves Boocock, with Boocock pulling the ball back for Morris, however Ganley was behind his effort and the score remained goalless.

The weather conditions were proving tricky at times for both sides, with Sangha looking to use the swirling wind to his advantage as he tried his luck from distance.

He looked to curl in to the far top corner from 30 yards out, hoping to catch Jones off his line, but the Rovers keeper held firm and managed to pluck the ball out of the air and catch comfortably.

Amos and Morris combined for Rovers next chance just after the hour, with Amos having a shot blocked after a break from defence, with Morris’ rebound going just wide of the far post.

Jones was in the thick of the action in the Rovers goal, and a great save on 70 minutes saw him preserve his clean sheet.

Sangha’s ball in from the right was met by the on-rushing Cameron Peters in the centre, but Jones got down low just in time, forcing the ball back off the Saddlers’ man and behind for a goal kick.

Straight from Jones’ goal kick, Rovers had another great chance to go in front, as Longbottom saw his shot saved, with Morris again shooting just wide from the rebound.

An end-to-end encounter at Cantley Park saw Walsall have the next chance, with Tobias Hayles-Docherty’s cross into the area being met by the head of Mitch Candlin.

He was unable to keep his header down though, and the Rovers defence held firm as they looked to keep hold of their clean sheet.

Rovers did have two late chances in injury time at the end of the second half, as substitute Omar Sanyang looked to cause the Saddlers’ defence a scare, with his good work opening up some room for him to shoot on goal, only to fire just wide.

Sanyang’s persistence then earned Rovers a late free-kick 30 yards out, with Amos playing the ball to Longbottom before receiving the ball again, however his low shot was blocked, with both sides seeing the game through and cancelling each other out.

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