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Nottingham Forest 1-2 Doncaster Rovers (Doncaster Fan's Perspective)

Friday 9th March 2012
The game at the City Ground was deemed as a 6-pointer by Rovers fans, a must win to maintain any chance of survival come the end of the season. Rovers made three changes with Frederic Piquionne, Kyle Bennett and Simon Gillett entering the side in place of Mamadou Bagayoko, James Hayter and Brian Stock.

The atmosphere started to build before the game with the Nottingham Forest anthem 'Mull of Kintyre' ringing round the stadium. Nothing was going to intimidate Doncaster Rovers that night, they were on a mission.

In the opening stages Forest had much of the possession and looked most likely to score with chances coming from various sources in their line up. Dexter Blackstock had their first effort, but hardly tested Carl Ikeme in front of the Donny fans. McCleary tried an audacious effort but his shot did not match his goal at Barnsley last week.

After this, and against the run of play, new signing Frederic Piquionne picked the ball up in Rovers half. He took the ball to around 30 yards from the Forest goal and swung his right boot to send the ball past Lee Camp at a thunderous rate, an excellent goal. Piquionne ran the full width of the pitch to celebrate with Dean Saunders in front of the Rovers bench and also former manager Sean O'Driscoll in the home dug out.

Half time was greeted with cheers from the away end and boos from all other sides of the ground as Rovers edged closer to their first away win since the start of November.

The teams entered the field for the second half with an even more tense atmosphere in the ground. Rovers fans knew that their team had a habit of throwing away leads to drop some or all of the points on offer.

Doncaster Rovers started the second period with an attack down the right wing. James Coppinger lobbed the ball to El-Hadji Diouf who muscled passed two defenders before sending in a cross to the far post. Waiting to volley home was Kyle Bennett who sent in his fourth goal for the club. Another cracker of a goal as the away end erupted; the Forest faithful vented their anger at Cotterill and his side.

Bennett nearly scored his second of the night minutes after scoring, but his effort struck the post before being gathered up by Camp.

Dexter Blackstock scored for Forest later in the half, when his deflected effort looped over Ikeme and gave the home fans hope. From this point on the hosts looked like they were getting closer and closer to scoring; they were awarded corners and free kicks galore in the closing stages and the nerves were setting in amongst the Doncaster supporters.

The game finally came to a close and Rovers recorded their first win in seven games, having not won since the South Yorkshire derby with Barnsley on January 2nd. Other results went against Rovers but with Portsmouth losing at Reading, Donny could climb off the foot of the table and three points from safety. Is this the turnaround fans have been waiting and hoping for? Time will tell- and with seven games left in March- a run of form could not come at a better time.
Lewis Ward

Total articles: 12

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