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Match Reports

Preview: Doncaster (A)

18 April 2015

Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town played out a 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Chances were limited for both sides with Josh Morris coming the closest for Town to break the deadlock with a left footed strike narrowly missing the target.

Manager Graham Alexander handed the captain’s armband to Antoni Sarcevic for the second game running as Town named an unchanged side from the Tuesday night game against MK Dons.

Nick Haughton however returned to the substitutes bench, likewise Stephen Crainey and Liam Hogan.

The hosts, managed by Alexander’s former Scotland team mate Paul Dickov, featured former Town loanee Nathan Tyson in attack.

On a sun-baked afternoon in South Yorkshire, the men in yellow began positively with Ashley Hunter showing that his pace could cause problems for Doncaster’s long standing captain Rob Jones.

South African international Dean Furman however had the first meaningful chance on goal in the tenth minute of play.

Possession was given away by Tyler Forbes, which allowed the number four to drive forward and shoot from range but the ball flied into the stands and out for a goal kick. The inform Kyle Bennett tried his luck minutes later from the left wing, but his shot was wayward.

The Cod Army’s first chance came in the 16th minute as David Ball looked to continue his recent run of form in front of goal.

The striker checked inside Andy Butler and hit a strike from 20-yards, only to find the grateful hands of Rovers’ experienced goalkeeper, Stephen Bywater.

At the other end, the former Championship outfit should have taken the lead on the 20 minute mark, only to be denied by Player of the Season contender, Chris Maxwell.

The custodian palmed away Tyson’s close range effort after he cleverly wriggled away from the attention of his former team mates, Nathan Pond and Stephen Jordan.

The tempo of the game immediately slowed down with chances at a premium. Morris’ left foot gave the match a spark it very much needed in the 38th minute, his strike from the edge of the penalty area going only a whisker over the cross bar.

At the end of the half, Doncaster nearly handed Fleetwood a gift as Bywater threw the ball out straight into the path of Ball.

The number 23 collected possession but Rovers quickly got men back before an eventual shot was deflected out for a goal kick. From the resulting corner, Pond headed the ball wide of the mark as the first half came to a conclusion.

A speculative volley from Morris got the second half rolling for Fleetwood which went wide of the mark as Town looked for their third triumph in Yorkshire in 2015.

Like Fleetwood, Doncaster looked to have a bit more of a spring in their step and James Coppinger linked up well with Richie Wellens to see his low drive coolly collected by Maxwell.

Tyson, who scored against Fleetwood in the return fixture back in October, missed another glorious chance in the 53rd minute. Shrugging off the attention of Pond, he side footed the ball just wide of Maxwell’s left hand post.

On the hour mark, Alexander made two changes as Jamie Proctor and Nick Haughton came into the fray for Gareth Evans and Ashley Hunter.

Haughton, who missed Tuesday’s game against the Dons through illness, was playing just behind Proctor and Ball in attack.

In a last throw of the dice for the Cod Army, Liam McAlinden was introduced for Ball after another tireless display by the Manchester City graduate.

Proctor and Haughton had added life to Fleetwood’s attacking flair with the pair linking up on a handful of occasions, with Proctor’s hold up play and Haughton’s forward thinking runs.

At the other end, another important save from Maxwell to deny Wellens from point black range ensured Town stayed on track for at least a point. The keeper then again thwarted the hosts as he palmed a left footed strike away by Donny sub Harry Forrester.

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