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

Thursday 15th March 2012
Reading travelled to Doncaster on the back of an amazing run of eight straight league wins. They had pushed aside teams including Leicester and Middlesbrough, helping them climb into third place in the Championship. Doncaster Rovers were also on a run of form, having gone 4 league games without defeat, including a victory over relegation rivals Nottingham Forest and also a draw away against West Ham United. Both sides had a good feeling before the game that they could continue their respective runs.

Reading almost opened the scoring early on via an Ian Harte corner. The ball fell to Alex Pearce, but his headed shot was blocked by El-Hadji Diouf who was waiting on the goal line.

Rovers' best  chance of the opening stages came from Pascal Chimbonda. El-Hadji Diouf and Tommy Spurr worked their way down the left flank before Spurr crossed into the area. Having missed all of the waiting players in front of goal, the ball fell to Chimbonda on the right wing, but his shot blazed over the bar despite being struck extremely well.

Another Reading corner provided the game's next best chance. This time Kaspars Gorkss' header went wide of the target. The Royals could easily have been 3-0 up after three corners as they were causing great difficulty for the Donny defence and it looked like Rovers were going to concede at any moment.

How we were wrong. It was actually Doncaster Rovers who opened the scoring in the 27th minute when a nice piece of play from James Coppinger and El-Hadji Diouf down the right wing finished with a well placed Diouf cross. Waiting was Kyle Bennett at the far post who finished well despite being under pressure from a Reading defender. This was Kyle's second goal in three appearances over the last week. It was fantastic to see Rovers take the lead against a side who were in such good form.

Hal Robson-Kanu nearly equalised immediately for the visitors, but Carl Ikeme made a great save to keep the lead. A goal mouth scramble in front of the Rovers' net had the home supporters' hearts in their mouths, but the ball finally fell to Ikeme.

Donny hung on to the lead until the break, but Reading started the second period on the attack. It was only a matter of time before Reading equalised and it came five minutes into the half. Yet another Ian Harte corner found Alex Pearce on the far post. His header gave Ikeme no chance.

The hosts almost regained the lead almost immediately, when James Coppinger's cross found Habib Beye. Beye's touch unfortunately flew wide of the target but chances in front of goal were positive for Rovers. Alex Pearce was next to have a chance, and nearly doubled his tally. His low drive beat Ikeme but Sam Hird was on hand to clear the ball off the line and keep the scores level.

Reading dominated the rest of the half, and looked likely to steal the lead. It was a good job for Donny fans that Carl Ikeme was in good form and kept the scores level. The best chance of the closing stages came in stoppage time and fell to Reading. Noel Hunt's header looked to have found the net but for Carl Ikeme who made a fantastic diving save and earned Rovers a well deserved draw.

The draw saw Reading leap frog West Ham into second spot while Doncaster Rovers climbed above Coventry and only 3 points from safety, still with a game in hand over many.
Lewis Ward

Total articles: 12

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