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Match Report: Doncaster 1-1 Brighton (Brighton Fan's Perspective)

By Andy
Sunday 4th March 2012
Brighton's play-off form continued with a draw away to bottom of the table Doncaster Rovers. Craig Mackail-Smith scored his second goal in as many games before Joe Mattock handled the ball in the Brighton area and El-Hadji Diouf slotted home the resulting penalty to gift Rovers a well earned draw it what was a drab affair.

Brighton struggled to play their usual pass and move football on a poor pitch at the Keepmoat Stadium and Doncaster showed their fighting spirit by breaking down Brighton well and closing down the space. Striker Ashley Barnes had warned a few days earlier that games against relegation candidates like Doncaster would be tough games to play, especially away on pitches in such a poor state.

Brighton, however, were the first to break the deadlock. Liam Bridcutt totally miss hit his shot but the ball fell kindly for Craig Mackail-Smith, who bundled his shot into the net at the second attempt after totally scuffing the first.

Doncaster should have equalized in their next attack three minutes later. After some good build up from the re-start they won a free kick which was curled in by El Hadji Diouf onto the head of Giles Barnes but the midfielder could only put the header wide of the target when he should have tested Peter Brezovan in the Brighton goal.

Ten minutes later, Doncaster had their second chance to equalize but failed to take their chance. Mamadou Bagayoko couldn't get a good enough connection after trying an audacious back heel from Simon Gillett's cross (an early replacement for injured captain Brian Stock) and Brezovan was untroubled.

El Hadji Diouf rightly had two penalty appeals waved away before Liam Bridcutt threw himself in front of Gillett's shot before James Hayter got hold of the rebound but wasted his chance as shot over the bar. Doncaster finishing the half looking the next team to score until Will Buckley, who scored two late goals to help Brighton defeat Doncaster at the AMEX back in August, went on a darting run after he was fed by a great pass from Abdul Razak, but could only find the side netting.

In the second half, Doncaster started as the had finished the first and Brighton defended well. James Coppinger's shot from inside the area flew just over the bar and several Brighton fouls led to chances from Doncaster free kicks.

Brighton's only notable chance of the second half came after some good build play from a free kick inside their own half, but West Brom loanee Joe Mattock showed why he's not a striker and lashed his shot over the bar.

11 minutes from time, Doncaster got the equalizer they were after. Joe Mattock inexplicably handled the ball in his own area after a cross into the box and El Hadji Diouf calmly took the penalty easily beating Brezovan.

Gus Poyet post match reaction - "We didn't play well but it was difficult to pass the ball on such a bumpy pitch. I'm not making that an excuse because it was the same for both teams and I feel sorry for the Doncaster players because we can go home now while they have to play on it every other week".


Doncaster:  27 Ikeme, 04 Martis, 14 Spurr, 39 Chimbonda, 41 Beye, 08 Stock (Gillett - 9'), 17 Barnes, 26 Coppinger (Robert - 67'), 10 Diouf, 12 Hayter (Bennett - 74'), 49 Bamogo.

Subs:  21 Hird, 16 Oster, 18 Gillett, 22 Robert, 23 Bennett.

Brighton:  01 Brezovan, 02 Mattock, 03 Greer, 06 El-Abd, 36 Jara, 08 Navarro, 26 Bridcutt, 28 Razak (Noone - 60'), 30 Buckley (Assulin - 82'), 09 Barnes, 12 Mackail-Smith (Vokes - 82').

Subs:  16 Ankergren, 14 Calderon, 11 Noone, 13 Assulin, 24 Vokes.

Total articles: 27

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