FULL TIME: DONCASTER ROVERS 1 COVENTRY 1

Rovers: Doncaster Rovers latest news, reports and more.
Rovers: Doncaster Rovers latest news, reports and more.
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A third goal of the season for Jamesw Hayter earned Doncaster Rovers a 1-1 draw with Coventry in the relegation clash at the Keepmpat Stadium.

Rovers visitors, Coventry City, were there for the taking. Without a win on the road in the 2011/12 campaign, the Sky Blues have recorded just one victory away from home in this calendar year.

Rovers almost made a dream start after four minutes, Barnes sent in an inviting centre which picked out Hayter, who turned sharply and his effort was deflected out for a corner by Clingan.

Barnes dinked in another beautiful centre which was met by Bennett and he should have buried his downward header but it went straight at Murphy.

The hosts nearly gifted the Sky Blues the opener in the seventh minute when Sullivan rushed out of his goal, made a hash of his clearance which was intercepted by McSheffrey and his header was going in only for Sullivan to scamper back into his goal and alleviate the danger.

Just 24 hours before this afternoon’s clash, Rovers farmed out Mark Wilson to Walsall on a month’s loan. The 32-year-old has not featured since Saunders appointment and his days at the club appear to be numbered. The midfielder, who has clocked up 158 appearances in Rovers colours, is out of contract at the end of the season.

After brilliantly earning a corner, it was the instrumental Barnes who rose highest to meet Stock’s delivery but he nodded wide when well-placed.

Both Barnes and Bennett’s pace were causing the visitors problems in the wide areas and it was Bennett who next forced Murphy into action. He expertly cut inside Christie and Thomas before unleashing a tame shot which was easily gathered by Murphy.

Andy Thorn, the Coventry City manager, was forced into a tactical reshuffle in the 26th minute when Hussey limped off with a knock. His replacement, McPake, moved to centre-back alongside Cameron while Keogh switched to right-back. On the half hour mark, Stock took a quick corner with Bennett, his deft back heel enabled the Welsh international to put in a promising cross to the back post but Naylor’s powerful header was kept out by Murphy. Then, against the run of play, CLINGAN opened the scoring a minute later, hitting a stunning right foot drive into the top left hand corner after receiving Keogh’s pass.

Sullivan acrobatically tipped over Baker’s piledriver from distance after the impressive Clingan fed his midfield partner in crime.

Halt-Time

Rovers 0 Coventry 1

Saunders brought on James Coppinger for Barnes, who had failed to shake off his first-half knock. Coppinger nearly made an instant impact after the interval, sending in a fierce centre which just eluded Hayter in middle as Coventry snuffed out the threat.

Bennett, a willing runner throughout, kept taking the fight to Coventry and after beating two would-be defenders, he first an ambitious shot from long range over the bar.

Coventry came close to increasing their advantage in the 55th minute. It took a superb last ditch challenge from Friend to foil McSheffrey.

Rovers refused to buckle and Ilunga teed up Bennett, who dragged his right footed strike wide when he should have done much better.

But the pressure paid off on the hour mark when the hosts equalised courtesy of HAYTER, who latched on to Coppinger’s delicious cross to volley in his third goal of the season, as Coventry’s static backline waited in vain for the offside flag to be raised.

With the contest back in the balance, it was Coventry who went agonisingly close to regaining the lead through Christie as the make-shift left-back drifted infield before flashing an effort inches wide.

Saunders decided to withdraw Bennett and put Mustapha Dumbuya on the left flank in the final 20 minutes.

Deegan, a second-half replacement for McSheffrey, found Keogh rampaging forward and his delivery across the face of goal narrowly missed Jutkiewicz.

With 10 minutes remaining, McDonald outpaced Ilunga before seeing his shot superbly parried by Sullivan, with Naylor hacking the rebound away to safety.

Deegan, a second-half replacement for McSheffrey, found Keogh rampaging forward and his delivery across the face of goal narrowly missed Jutkiewicz.

With 10 minutes remaining, McDonald outpaced Ilunga before seeing his shot superbly parried by Sullivan, with Naylor hacking the rebound away to safety.

For a full report, see the Green’Un