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Match Reports

Doncaster Rovers v Notts County

14 March 2017

Doncaster 3-1 Notts

Notts County were beaten 3-1 by Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Magpies had taken a first-half lead through Richard Duffy but James Coppinger levelled the scores before Mathieu Baudry turned the match on its head shortly after the break.

Notts thought they had an equaliser when Haydn Hollis headed home from a corner but the officials spotted a foul in the build up.

And salt was rubbed into the Magpies' wounds when, deep into second half-stoppage time and with Adam Collin stranded upfield, Rovers broke from a corner and made the points safe through Andy Williams.

Kevin Nolan made three changes to the side that beat Hartlepool United at the weekend.

Captain Michael O'Connor, back after suspension, came into central midfield, while West Brom loanee Tahvon Campbell was given his first start alongside Alan Smith up front. Elliott Hewitt, Shola Ameobi and Jonathan Forte made way.

The first shot of the match went Notts' way on four minutes when Jorge Grant nicked the ball 30 yards out and sent it a couple of yards wide with a sweetly struck effort.

Rovers showed their threat for the first time on six minutes when Alfie May sent the ball across goal and wide after latching on to a low cross six yards out.

But the next chance of the match fell Notts' way and resulted in the opening goal. The Magpies' short corner routine caused chaos in the middle and Duffy slid in to turn the ball beyond home keeper Ian Lawlor.

Table-topping Rovers' pursuit of an equaliser was led by Coppinger who, moments after sending a 20-yard free-kick over the bar, saw a dangerous cross fly inches over May's head at the back post.

Coppinger was involved again on 33 minutes, linking up with 20-goal frontman John Marquis to cut the ball back for Craig Alcock on the edge of the area. The Rovers man saw his shot well blocked in a crowded penalty area.

It looked like Notts were going to stand firm to take their slender lead into the break but, with a minute of normal time remaining in the first period, Coppinger swept the ball home after Matty Blair's low cross from the right.

Former Forest man Coppinger was denied by his own team-mate in stoppage time when he saw his goalbound volley hit a fellow Rover, leaving the score locked at 1-1 going into the interval.

Unfortunately for Notts, parity lasted less than two minutes into the second period as Baudry rose highest in the middle to meet Coppinger's cross. The Frenchman's bullet header flew past Collin to give the hosts the lead.

Nolan's first change saw Hewitt replace Mark Yeates in a straight right-midfield swap shortly before Ameobi replaced Smith up front.

And Notts proved they were far from dead and buried when Duffy went agonisingly close to notching his second of the evening. O'Connor picked the defender out with a superb free-kick and Duffy headed the ball just wide of the post.

O'Connor thought he had his assist minutes later when Hollis nodded the ball home from his corner but the referee's assistant spotted an infringement and the goal was disallowed.

Marc Bola went into the book for a foul on Marquis before, seven minutes later, Forte replaced Rob Milsom. The move saw Campbell shift to right midfield with Hewitt tucking infield alongside O'Connor.

Time was running out for Notts to find an equaliser and, when Forte's shot from a tight angle was saved on 85 minutes, it looked like the Magpies were headed for defeat.

Matt Tootle went into the book for dissent shortly after five minutes of stoppage time were indicated.

Nolan's men won a succession of corners at the death, prompting Collin to join the attack. The keeper was just underneath the second delivery and Donny broke away, working the ball to Williams 30 yards out. The substitute showed good composure to roll the ball past covering defender Tootle and into the bottom corner to seal the win for Rovers.

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