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DRFC - Rovers held in cup

Cheltenham Town
0 - 0
Doncaster Rovers

Whaddon Road

13/01/09 7.45pm

Attendance: 4,417


Doncaster and Cheltenham will have to meet again after a poor goalless draw at Whaddon Road.

This was the first game of 2009 for both sides and Rovers put out a full strength side against their league one opposition.

For an FA Cup third round tie with Premiership Aston Villa waiting for the victors it was a game of no great passion or endeavour as Cheltenham seemed happy to put ten men behind the ball whilst Rovers seemed unable to break down the Cheltenham defence.

The first real chance fell to Heffernan just past the quarter hour mark when Woods cross found him in plenty of space in front of goal; his poor header went over the bar.

Doncaster were controlling the match and Wellens was next to going close but his shot was well saved by Brown in the Cheltenham goal.

Sam Hird really should have put Rovers one up when he found himself in front of goal with only the keeper to beat but his weak effort went straight to the keeper, this was even worse for me as I`d backed him at 50/1 for the first goal.

Cheltenham finally broke free from their defensive duties close to half time and it took an excellent save from Sullivan to keep out a Bird`s header.

The second half continued in a very similar pattern with Rovers enjoying long periods of possession but only the occasional shot which was usually charged down by the Cheltenham defence.

Rovers felt that Cheltenham should have been reduced to ten men when Lindegaard dragged down Woods who was going through on goal, Lindegaard looked like he was the last man but referee Swarbrick only produced a yellow card to the disgust of the Rovers players and travelling fans.
The linesman was also doing his best to upset everyone involved with Rovers by continuously raising the flag for offside, on three or four occasions the Rovers players looked clearly onside. On two of these occasions Hird and Heffernan brought out fantastic saves from Brown.

Heffernan on another night could have quite easily have scored a hat trick and his luck was summed up when his left foot shot left the keeper rooted to the spot but the ball hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal to safety.

Even though Rovers had enjoyed the bulk of the game Cheltenham should have taken the lead with five minutes remaining, Bird cut in from the right and his stinging shot was excellently saved by Sullivan but the rebound fell to Owusu in front of goal but he somehow managed to miss an open goal.

Both sides seemed happy to settle for a replay in the last five minutes and the clubs will now meet again at the Keepmoat next Tuesday to win the prize of a home tie against Aston Villa in round four.

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Date:Wednesday January 14 2009
Time: 7:14AM

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We could have done without another game, we should have won the game easily and were lucky not to lose it late on.
14/01/2009 07:19:00
I don't think we played too badly and agree with O'Driscoll when he said that at times we looked like a team who have not played for two weeks, whilst at other times we looked fresh. Cheltenham were very good at closing us down and put in several good tackles. We were too slow on the attack in my opinion and I was dissapointed at the amount of times we resorted to the long ball method, despite it failing pretty much every time. Sullivan made a few good saves and I was impressed with Matt Mills who dealt with all he had to with relatively no fuss. Stock and Wellens didn't really do much in my opinion. Woods looked OK today but on the whole I think we were happy with a draw and that was indicated in O'Driscoll's changes which were Taylor, Lockwood and Wilson coming on for Coppinger, Heffernan and Stock. A lot of our fans were pleased with James Chambers which I guess is fair and was deffinatly a contender for man of the match. We really should have put away at least one of our chances last night but I'm confident that the Rovers will do a job against Town next Tuesday at the Keepmoat.
14/01/2009 14:09:00
I have to agree regarding Chambers, he had an excellent game. Even though we didn't have to do much defending I thought our three best players were Sullivan, Hird and Chambers. It was back to the pre Forest game in the final third, all to slow and methodical whilst Cheltenham packed their defence and blocked most things. On another night Heffernan could have had hat trick, it reminded me of the last game of the season there. I am sure we will do them at home but we could have done without the extra game.
14/01/2009 21:26:00
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