Panto Season appears to have come early to the Keepmoat Stadium, as despite Rovers’ lofty league position boos frequently rang out amongst the Rovers supporters during this goalless draw with seventh place Brighton. I must have missed the memo that went round sections of the Rovers support stating that from this point onwards all Rovers games will be won and done so in a thrilling fashion. That’s the only reason I can muster as to why many of Donny’s games end with a chorus of boos from the home fans. Highest league position in close on two decades, nine games unbeaten; I know it’s hardly been an epic few games we’ve seen of late but is this sort of response really justified?
There’s no denying that this match was far from a classic; Rovers forged an opportunity after twelve minutes when Martin Woods fired into the side netting, it was to be another fifty minutes before the home side threatened again; Lewis Guy meeting Mark McCammon’s flick on to provide Michel Kuipers’ only real test from the whole game. It was clear that Brighton had come to stifle Rovers and so successful were they in doing so that the game’s better chances went their way. Twice in the second half Rovers rode their luck from corners; Paul Green blocking a Joel Lynch header on the line and Neil Sullivan saving Dean Hammond’s late effort. These efforts were as close as anyone came to breaking the deadlock between two sides that had very clearly cancelled each other out.
A disappointing night for the Rovers also saw the club lose another player to injury as Sean McDaid limped off just before half-time still feeling the effects of a challenge from Tommy Fraser.
Man of the Match: Paul Green; came on for McDaid as a make shift full back and excelled in the role.
Wilson Watch: A return to the starting line-up and a competent performance from Mark Wilson; managed to escape the home fans boo’s which given the tendency of the Keepmoat inhabitants must be a good sign.
Doncastert Rovers line-up (4-3-2-1): Neil Sullivan; James O’Connor, Gordon Greer, Adam Lockwood, Sean McDaid (Paul Green); Richie Wellens, Mark Wilson, Martin Woods; Lewis Guy (Craig Nelthorpe), James Hayter (James Coppinger); Mark McCammon
subs not used: Kevin Horlock, Matt Noble
booked: James Hayter (clumsy challenge in midfield), Adam Lockwood (dissent)
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-5-1): Michel Kuipers; Andy Whing, Joel Lynch, Adam El-Abd, Dean Cox; Dean Hammond, Tommy Fraser, David Marlot, Matt Richards, Nicky Forster; Bas Savage
subs not used: Guy Butters, Paul Reid, Jake Robinson
booked: Tommy Fraser (dangerous challenge), Michel Kuipers (handball)