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Rochdale 1-3 Doncaster Rovers: Report

22 November 2014

Ten man Rochdale went down by three goals to one at home to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

An early opener from Matty Done was cancelled out by Kyle Bennett, before a harsh sending off for Matty Done after the break proved to be the hammer blow for Rochdale as Rovers' numerical advantage told late on with Theo Robinson and Curtis Maine netting for the visitors.

Keith Hill named three changes to the side whose late midweek victory over Northampton secured passage through to round two of the FA Cup. Jamie Allen, Calvin Andrew and Reuben Noble-Lazarus came into the side in place of Bastien Hery, Jack Muldoon and Joe Rafferty.

Rochdale looked to start quickly and with just eight minutes on the clock, they got the opening goal through an excellent Matty Done diving header. Under pressure, Lund was able to squeeze the ball out of a crowded midfield towards Bennett on the right hand side with plenty of space to push forwards. He saw another option, however, and delivered a pinpoint cross towards the back post for the on-rushing Done. As he flung himself at the ball, his downwards header bounced up past the flailing goalkeeper and into the top corner.

Doncaster responded strongly with a couple of good chances falling in the way of Nathan Tyson. His first opportunity arose as Conrad Logan parried a long-range effort invitingly into the path of the Doncaster man, but he scuffed his follow-up horribly wide. His second came following a corner which Dale struggled to clear, with the ball eventually finding its way to the feet of Tyson on the edge of the box but his effort dribbled narrowly wide of the post.

Their pressure eventually paid off, though, as Kyle Bennett's effort found its way into the bottom corner. After some quick interplay on the right wing the ball was played to Bennett just inside the area. After cutting inside onto his left foot he released a drive across goal which took a cruel deflection off a defender's leg to send the ball wide of Logan and into the bottom corner.

Another chance came and went for Doncaster as the right-back, Reece Wabara went on a marauding run forward evading several tackles on his way. He eventually found himself in a one on one situation but with just Logan to beat, his luck ran out and he fired harmlessly over the bar.

Logan pulled off a sublime save as Curtis Main looked to give Doncaster the lead. After showing plenty of skill to cut in from the left hand side, he was able to wriggle his way into a superb position to score. It wasn't luck to deny them this time but sheer stubbornness from Logan who got all 6 foot 2 inches of himself down to the ground as Main attempted to roll the ball home to no avail.

Calvin Andrew looked to take the fight back to Doncaster at the other end of the field, but found himself up against an equally stubborn goalkeeper. Andrew was able to get onto a ball played over the top and with defenders closing down on him, he elected to shoot from range. His effort looked destined for the bottom corner but for Sam Johnstone, in the Doncaster goal, who got to the ball at full stretch to push it wide.

HALF TIME: Rochdale 1-1 Doncaster

Nine minutes into the half and the task was made much more difficult for Rochdale as Matty Done was sent off in what was an incredibly harsh decision. As the ball squirmed free on the halfway line, Done and Coppinger both went for the ball in a 50/50 challenge, with Done seemingly winning the ball in the process. However, referee Jeremy Simpson gave no time to take in the occurrence before brandishing the red card, to the shock of all the home support. 

The visitors ramped up the pressure following Done's dismissal, looking to capitalise on their numerical advantage. They came within inches of doing so on the hour mark as substitute Harry Forrester saw his header come crashing off the bar. The depleted Dale struggled to clear their lines following a corner and from a ball clipped in from the left, Forrester met his header as cleanly as he could but from six yards he saw his effort rattle the bar.

The woodwork came to Dale's rescue once more, as Doncaster this time saw an effort come back off the post. They were able to work the ball inside from the left flank and from just left of centre on the edge of the box a powerful drive beat Logan's dive but came back into play from the post. The ball fell to the feet of Nathan Tyson who somehow managed to miss the rebound into an open goal. His blushes were saved by the linesman however, who had flagged for offside.

With five minutes left on the clock, the resolute Dale defence was finally broken as Theo Robinson headed home from close range. Following a horribly skewed Nathan Tyson effort, the referee saw fit to give a corner despite the absence on any player in either colour of shirt being within remote touching distance of the path of the ball. This led to a succession of unsuccessful corners, but on the fourth attempt Doncaster opted to go short. This time, with space to pick his cross, Bennett eventually delivered a in-swinging ball to the back post which found the head of Robinson who, from two yards out, couldn't miss.

As the game ticked over into the final minute of the ninety, Dale had to push forward looking for the equaliser, but in doing so they left themselves vulnerable to the counter attack, which led to Doncaster sealing the win. They broke away down the right hand side, quickly working the ball to the edge of the box. It was drilled across the face of goal and all it needed was the touch from Curtis Maine to prod the ball underneath Logan and into the net.

FULL TIME: Rochdale 1-3 Doncaster

Attendance: 3,229

Man of the Match: Conrad Logan

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