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Match Reports

Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 0

20 January 2015

Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 0

COMPETITION | Sky Bet League 1
ATTENDANCE | 5,547 (391)
REFEREE | Richard Clark (Northumberland)

Ten man Notts County held on to a well-deserved point away to Doncaster Rovers as they played out a 0-0 draw.

Alan Smith had the best chance of the game for Notts, hammering a long distance volley against the crossbar, with Stephen Bywater completely beaten.

Both sides had chances as they looked to break the deadlock in the second half, but Roy Carroll was fantastic in denying the home side.

Curtis Main and Harry Forrester had the best of the chances for Doncaster, both forcing Carroll into brilliant second half saves to keep the score level.

Notts went down to ten men late on, Kwame Thomas being shown a second yellow card in bizarre circumstances for time wasting as he was being substituted. 

Doncaster pilled the pressure late on, but the ten men stayed strong to earn a well-deserved point for the Magpies.

Three changes were made by Magpies’ manager Shaun Derry for the game at the Keepmoat Stadium, following the 2-1 victory against Crewe at the weekend. 

Involved in the squad of eighteen were two new signings. Coming into the starting eleven were Alan Smith, Curtis Thompson and recent new signing Hayden White, replacing Mustapha Dumbuya, Alefe Santos and the suspended Liam Noble.

Following his recent loan move from Bolton Wanderers until the end of the season, Hayden White started the game at right-back in place of Mustapha Dumbuya. Meanwhile on the bench, Balint Bajner who joined the side from Ipswich, was in the eighteen for the game against Doncaster. Also on the bench was Billy Daniels, fresh from his debut winner just four minutes after coming off the bench against Crewe.

Doncaster started the game the brighter of the two sides, Harry Forrester picked up the ball just inside the Notts half, ran at the defence and hit his shot from outside the box. It was a speculative attempt but it flew over the bar.

Notts had their first chance within the first ten minutes too. Garry Thompson earned himself a corner from a blocked cross. Gary Jones took it and it was directly for Garry Thompson at the near post. He was stooping to get a head on it, he made contact with the ball, but it was cleared by the Doncaster defence.

A fast flowing move from the home side nearly opened up the Magpies. Harry Forrester picked up the ball again the centre circle and played an accurate pass for Theo Robinson who tried to lob Roy Carroll but, his shot went high and wide. 
Alan Smith had the same idea down the other end. A ball up field was cleared by Doncaster but only as far as Smith who was 35 yards out. The ball set up perfectly for him as he thumped his shot towards goal. It cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and hit Stephen Bywater, before Doncaster managed to get the ball clear.

Harry Forrester scored the winner for Doncaster in their victory against Barnsley at the weekend, and he was the danger man again against the Magpies. Inside the box, he looked to be in on goal, but some fantastic defending from Haydn Hollis, dispossessing him of the ball twice, denied the Rovers number 10 from getting a shot in on goal.

Former Nottingham Forest striker and Notts loanee Nathan Tyson nearly opened the scoring with 10 minutes left of the first half. He received the ball in the area, cut inside on his left foot and unleashed a shot towards goal. A good block from Alan Smith denied Tyson from getting a clear strike to test Carroll.

Good play down the left from Will Hayhurst allowed him the space to put in a cross. It was the perfect height, but it just missed Kwame Thomas before it was cleared by Rovers and out for a corner. From the set-piece, Hayhurst put another brilliant cross into the box, Hayden Mullins got there, but Bywater was in the right place to catch the effort.

There was just one more chance for the home side before the half time whistle. Nathan Tyson flicked the ball past Hollis brilliantly to give him space for a one on one with Carroll. The Notts number one was there to deny Tyson fantastically. 

The ball fell to James Coppinger on the edge of the box, he tried to take on Carroll, but again the keeper came out on top, before the referee called time on the first half.

HT: Doncaster Rovers 0 - 0 Notts County 

Notts had the first chance of the second half within 30 seconds. A cross from Will Hayhurst was swung in on his right foot, Thomas got up ahead of the defender. His effort went just wide of the far post.

Tyson had another chance for Doncaster with 51 minutes gone. He received the ball in the middle after a good pass through to him. He was in one on one with Carroll. Carroll came out to close down the gap. Tyson took it round Carroll but went too wide to take advantage of an open goal so opted to cross instead. Mullins was there to clear any danger.

The 60th minute saw the introduction of new signing Balint Bajner, and he made a difference from the off. He won his side a corner within seconds of being on. The ball was put into the box, it was cleared to Garry Thompson who was lurking on the edge of the penalty area. He hit it first time, but it was well blocked.

Notts were on top at this point, playing quick passing football in the opposition half, whilst the defence were looking strong. A fantastic last ditch tackle from Haydn Hollis stopped Theo Robinson from bursting clear when he looked to be in behind the Notts defence. 

Good battling from Kwame Thomas up front earned Notts a free-kick as he held the ball up against two Doncaster defenders. Will Hayhurst took the set-piece and it was a good one. The cross was in a dangerous area and Hollis looked to take advantage of that, but before he could do anything with the ball, the linesman adjudged him to be offside.

Rovers had a number of chances from there. First, McCullough headed over from close range after a cross from the left by Harry Forrester. It was then Forrester who had a chance, Carroll denied him at the first attempt, Curtis Main followed up the rebound, but Carroll was there again to deny him brilliantly. Curtis Main was there again moments later to take his shot from close range, but Carroll got down low to stop him once again.

Notts County went down to 10 men in bizarre circumstances. The Magpies opted to make a substitution with Kwame Thomas coming off for Billy Daniels. As he was coming off the pitch, the referee booked him for time wasting. Daniels had then come onto the pitch, before the referee had realised Kwame Thomas had already been booked. After much deliberation, Thomas was then shown a red card, meaning Daniels couldn’t come onto the field and the Magpies went down to ten men.

The ten men had five minutes of injury time to hold onto a point. Harry Forrester had the best of the chances for the home side as they looked for the three points. He had the ball on the edge of the area, and instead of playing the ball out wide, he went for the top corner, Roy Carroll again was there to make an outstanding save to keep the score at 0-0.

The Notts side were being bombarded at this point, but every single player was fantastic in dealing with everything thrown at them. Clearing various crosses and shots from distance to hold onto a well-deserved point.

FT: Doncaster Rovers 0 - 0 Notts County 


Came back into the centre of midfield due to the suspension of Liam Noble and played brilliantly much like he did against Bristol City. 

He showed energy and determination throughout the game, whilst playing plenty of passes out wide. Playing alongside Jones and Smith in the centre, Thompson was excellent in both gaining possession as well as retaining it. 

A great game for the young midfielder. Roy Carroll deserves a mention also, after making a number of fantastic saves to keep the Magpies level.

Doncaster Rovers: Bywater, Robinson, Forrester, McCullough, Tyson (Main, 72), Butler, Stevens (Evina, 70), Keegan, Wabara, Bennett, Coppinger © 
Substitutes: Evina, McCombe, Main, Marosi, Wakefield, De Val, Middleton

Notts County: Carroll, Adams, Smith, Mullins ©, Hollis, Hayhurst, G Thompson, Thomas, Jones (Bajner, 61), C Thompson, White (Dumbuya, 63)
Substitutes: Pilkington, Dumbuya, Murray, Daniels, Bajner, Cranston, Santos

Look out for full reaction and post-match highlights on Magpie Player. 

Photos by Dan Westwell

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