In general, a night of frustration from Rovers and two points dropped rather than one gained against Crawley’s direct style. I say ‘from Rovers’, for the players appeared as frustrated as those in the stands.
Doncaster looked to have learned the key lessons from Saturday’s defeat; cut out the mistakes and stop Harry Forrester getting sent off.
However, this fear of making a mistake, along with Crawley’s insistence on keeping eight behind the ball delivered a dull first half.
Between the head-tennis, Jamie Coppinger and Kyle Bennett looked lively, but play was slow and lacked quality in the final third, with the loudest cheer generated by the ball being hoofed over the East Stand roof.
The second half was much the same, with Rovers’ taking more of a foothold over time. Theo Robinson is a trier, but one coated in Teflon; a poor pass or touch, too often breaking Rovers’ build up, with Coppinger twice visibly cursing the number nine.
The match required some magic, a game changer. And so to the last five minutes, where Rovers finally laid siege, with a crispness and an urgency that had been missing all night. Reece Wabara’s deep cross found Robinson; his point blank header saved brilliantly by Jamie Ashdown. Coppinger drilled low, this time Ashdown parried, and Robinson hit the rebound into the prone keeper. A cracking double save, but he should’ve scored.
A positive, but ultimately disappointing night – how we could’ve done with Harry.