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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Oct 12 at 16:50 PM

Pools were pegged back by Doncaster Rovers last in the game to share the spoils on another frustrating afternoon at The Vic.

Neil Austin had given Neale Cooper the lead from the penalty spot mid-way through the second half but a late strike from Rovers skipper Rob Jones earned the visitors a point.

The visitors came out firing on all cylinders and, while there was nothing to really test Scott Flinders, Pools looked set for a busy afternoon.

After dealing with the early storm, Pools began to see more of the ball and began to make inroads at the other end of the pitch.

Steve Howard, as ever a threat in the air, sent a header at goal which landed on the roof of the net as Pools began to test the visitors’ resolve.

Cooper’s men were enjoying enough of the ball as the half progressed; Jonathan Franks whipping in a few crosses from the right while Darren Holden was a presence down the left flank.

But Doncaster Rovers provided a threat of their own going forward and David Cotterill opened things up down the right side of the area to send a teasing ball across the face of goal which fortunately nobody was waiting to collect.

From a corner kick, Shelton Martis was allowed the space to run in with power to thunder a header at goal but the big defender wasted a good opportunity, sending his header wide of goal.

Pools lost Evan Horwood just after the half hour mark to injury – James Poole was his replacement and the sub went close to making an instant impact. 

With his first touch of the game, Poole let rip with a low drive from the edge of the area which beat Gary Woods only to ping against the post and bounce back into play.

Cooper’s men had a bright spell of pressure in the build-up to half time, pushing down the right in a bid to break through a solid Rovers back line and the visitors had to be on alert to deal with a couple of decent balls in from Franks.

But it was Doncaster who went closest just before the break as Kyle Bennett hit a sweet volley with some pace – fortunately his effort went wide of the far post. 

Just as they had started the first half on top, Rovers looked bright after the interval.

Scott Flinders was called into action quite quickly to deny James Harper who hit a powerful one through a crowd.

Once again though, Pools gradually came into their own and went on to enjoy a really strong spell of pressure.

James Poole, after hitting the woodwork in the first half, tried his luck with another impressive effort; playing on the left wing he cut in to unleash a curling effort towards the far corner of the net only to be denied by a top save by Woods.

Sub Charlie Wyke picked up a freekick on the right side of the box, took a touch, turned into space and hit a lovely effort back across goal. 

His effort went just wide of the far post but the young striker looked full of confidence. 

With another Franks cross into the box, this time from the left, Steve Howard was again held firmly to the spot by Rovers defender Shelton Martis and the referee, who was close to the action was quick to point to the spot. 

Neil Austin, one of those to find the net in Tuesday night’s shoot-out against Bradford City, stepped up confidently to take the penalty and sent it past Woods to make it 1-0.

Rovers had the ball in the back of the net minutes later as the visitors pressed for an instant response but the referee had seen Flinders clearly fouled in the build-up and his whistle ruled out the effort.

There were more chances for the visitors, in between real pressure from Pools, and James Harper found the side netting with another good strike on goal.

Jonathan Franks, running on to a lovely through ball from sub Ritchie Humphreys, could well have sealed things for Pools when he ran through on goal but took too many touches and Woods took the ball from his feet.

Pools’ keeper was in action shortly after at the other end, this time rising well to send a David Coterill shot from distance over the bar.

Once again though, as seems to be part of the script for Pools these days, a ball into the box from the right found Rovers’ skipper Rob Jones at the far post and the big defender forced the ball over the line to draw level.

Full Time: Pools 1 Doncaster Rovers 1

Booked: Doncaster Rovers - Martis (65)

Att: 4,406 (625 Doncaster Rovers)

Pools: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Hartley, Holden, Franks, Murray, Sweeney, Horwood (Poole 36), Howard, Noble (Wyke 57 (Humphreys 81))
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Collins, Walton, Richards

Doncaster Rovers: G Woods, Quinn, Martis (Husband 80), Jones, Syers, Paynter (Ball 66), Brown (Keegan 85), Cotterill, Spurr, Harper, Bennett
Subs Not Used: Martin Woods, Blake, Michael Woods, Sullivan, Keegan

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