Mansfield Town 1-1 Doncaster Rovers; 250 word match report

Colchester United v Doncaster Rovers: Doncaster flag on blue seats

Back to back wins either side of Christmas had Rovers at the top of the tree prior to the short trip to Mansfield.

In what was a particularly dull first half, neither side really managed to get a hold on the game, with Rovers very sloppy in possession and guilty of giving the ball away all too easily. With neither side creating a clear-cut chance in the opening 45 minutes, the sizable Doncaster following were left somewhat subdued.

Even after half time, the two sides never really looked like getting going in this largely drab encounter, but eventually the opening goal arrived to spark some life in the contest. A Mansfield corner wasn’t fully cleared, falling at the feet of Mal Benning whose low drive was heel-flicked around Marko Marosi by Matt Green to put the hosts ahead.

That goal was met, unusually, by a lift in the spirits of the Rovers travelling army, and after sustained pressure, the Stags finally cracked. Home keeper Scott Shearer chopped down Tommy Rowe just inside the box after spilling the ball, to give Rovers a penalty. Liam Mandeville was the answer and his spot kick was calmly slotted home.

From then on it was all Rovers, and they came a lick of paint away from stealing all three points, Rowe’s header hitting the post and trickling agonisingly along the goal line. Still, Rovers end 2016 in the automatic promotion spots and look good value for a return to League One in 2017.

by Alex Gibbings

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