Rovers have begun their FA Cup campaign with an away draw at Oldham Athletic. The hosts didn’t have the best start to the afternoon as they lost two players to injury it what we can only assume was a pretty rigorous warm-up, most notably goalkeeper Marlon Beresford who’s place was taken by veteran Welsh international Mark Crossley, while Andy Liddell saw his palce go to Deane Smalley.Still it did not seen to daunt the hostss who had the first chance of the match as Stefan Stam headed over from a corner.
Rovers almost opened the scoring as Martin Woods met a James Coppinger cross at thef ar post only for his shot to be blocked on the line. The Latics had the better of the early exchanges though with Neil Sullivan called into action three times to save from Mark Allot, Lee Hughes and Craig Davies. Perhaps deservedly it was the hosts who opened the scoring as Neal Trotman met a right wing corner with a fierce header, a lead they held until the break.
Come the second half and some erly work for Crossley who pushed an effort from Woods over the bar. However despite that eraly effort from Rovers, Oldham had soon doubled their advantage, Craig Davies broke down the Rovers left, held off a couple of challenges before finding the net from just inside the area for 2-0. With forty minutes remaining Rovers went all or nothing to finsd a way back into the match and it paid off just after the hour mark as Hayter pounced on the ball in the box to give Crossley no chance from twelve yards; 2-1.
Sean O’Driscoll now really went all out as he replaced centre half Adam Lockwood with Lewis Guy with a quarter of an hour remaining. It looked to have proved an instantly inspired move as the substitute found the net within minutes, only to see the goal ruled out for offside. As Rovers pushed Oldham nearly secured the win as Gary McDonald met Neal Eardley’s cross, but his header cleared the bar. Moments later he was made to rue his miss even further as Richie Wellens cut the ball back to Hayter and the striker hit an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net from ten yards for the equaliser.
It proved to be enough and the match finished at two all. The two clubs will now face a replay at the Keepmoat Stadium to decide who will progress into round two, however they will have to wait a week later than most to find out, as Oldham’s Welsh connection prevent the match being played during the international week.
Oldham Athletic line-up (4-4-2): Mark Crossley; Neal Eardley, Neal Trotman, Stefan Stam, Chris Taylor; Gary McDonald, Deane Smalley, Mark Allot, Neil Kilkenny; Lee Hughes (Lewis Alessandra), Craig Davies
subs not used: JP Kalala, Paul Black, Aaron Chambers, Josh Bell
booked: Neal Eardley
Doncaster Rovers line-up (4-3-2-1): Neil Sullivan; James O’Connor, Gordon Greer, Adam Lockwood (Lewis Guy), Gareth Roberts (Stephen Roberts); Paul Green, Richie Wellens, Brian Stock; James Coppinger (Jason Price), Martin Woods; James Hayter
subs not used: Mark Wilson, Ben Smith
booked: Brian Stock