Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Tranmere Rovers

Rovers battle hard to earn draw
Since their return to the league, Doncaster Rovers are yet to score in a home match against Tranmere Rovers, and so it continued today, as the two sides fought out their third 0-0 draw in Doncaster in four years.

Things were not made easy for Tranmere however, as they had to over come a great number of decisions by the referee which leaned from debatable to the completely wrong, with the most important decision of the game seeing Carl Tremarco sent off for Tranmere.

In a 4-3-3 formation for Rovers with Shuker joining Greenacre and Taylor in attack, Carl Tremarco started at left-back whilst Antony Kay played at central defence. Adnan Ahmed made his first league start in midfield whilst there were places on the bench for new-comer Andrew Taylor and Paul Henry.

Ronnie Moore's side started brightly and within the first three minutes they had had two decent shouts for a penalty, as Chris Shuker was firstly tripped and then wrestled to the ground by the Doncaster full-back, but the referee started his poor decision making here as he waved away both claims.

Doncaster soon managed to get the ball down the other end however, and after Goodison had thrown himself in front of one Brian Stock shot, Danny Coyne was called into action for the first time shortly after as the same player sent a free-kick straight into the goalkeeper's waiting arms.

On 20-minutes, there was a lengthy stop in play as Ian Goodison recieved treatment from the legendary Les Parry after the centre-back had been caught by Danny Coyne whilst the 'keeper had been punching clear a corner.

Doncaster had the clearest chance of the game shortly after as Lewis Guy showed explosive acceleration from a one-two with Wilson, but pressure from Kay saw Guy shoot wide of the target.

Chances however were few and far between. The game was a tight and scrappy affair early on, and as a result niether team had any real clear cut chances. The closest indeed that either team came to scoring was with the half-time cheerleaders.

Just two minutes into the second half however, the game was turned on it's head as referee Gavin Ward, yes, he's back to haunt us, decided to send off Rovers left-back Carl Tremarco.

The Rovers full-back, making a tackle on former Oldham player Richie Wellens, clearly won the ball before he was unlucky enough to see the ball bounce up and hit his feet into the air, where he caught Wellens. The referee however was quickly over to the Rovers player and gave him a highly debatable straight red card.

Because of the sending off, Ronnie Moore was forced into an immediate substitution, as Andrew Taylor, on-loan from Blackburn, came on to make his debut as a replacement for Chris Shuker as Tranmere moved to a 4-3-2 formation.

The home side Doncaster now looked to up the pressure on the Rovers goal, and on 57-minutes Sean McDaid headed wide of Coyne's goal from very close range with a free-header at the back post.

Tranmere too though were keen to push for a win, and on 64-minutes Paul McLaren struck the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick after the referee had finally given Ronnie Moore's side a free-kick.

On 68-minutes, it was back to normal however for referee Ward, as Paul McLaren was booked for a tackle on Mills in which, yet again, the ball was won by the tackler. The decision, quite suitably, came after Mills had been pushing Gareth Taylor when in search of a header.

On 75-minutes, Rovers came close again, as Antony Kay this time headed over the bar from a Paul McLaren free-kick as last week's match winner made a menace of himself again in the oppositions penalty area.

Shortly after this, the referee made another shocking error as a Doncaster player slid in on Adnan Ahmed at least two seconds after the ball had gone, taking down the Pakistani international with a horrible tackle which, was equal to, if not worse, than the tackle made by Carl Tremarco earlier in the game. However, Tranmere didn't even get so much as a free-kick for the shocking tackle.

Play then continued and Doncaster had a shot at goal as James Hayter headed the ball into the side netting from a tight angle and atleast 10-yards from goal. Half the ground thought the ball had gone in as the net was left rippling from the shot but Danny Coyne's goal had not been penetrated.

After Ahmed had recieved treatment for his injury when play was finally stopped following that tackle, Paul Henry replaced the midfielder, making his debut for Rovers after rising through the youth ranks and captaining the reserve team.

Doncaster continued to push forward but they couldn't make their two man advantage (including the referee) count, as a number of crosses were sent straight at Rovers goalkeeper Coyne.

The Welsh International however was forced into a terrific save though in injury time, as James Coppinger's goal-bound shot changed direction following a deflection and required the diving Coyne to make a terrific reaction stop with his legs, just one of a string of brilliant saves the goalkeeper has made in the last few weeks.

0-0 it remained then, and it was a deserved point for Tranmere who had to battle hard to get the draw following Carl Tremarco's dismissal. Had the full-back not been sent off, Rovers could have pressured for a valuable win, but the referee would probably have dissallowed any goal as it is.

Rovers defended well and although he was given no clear chance infront of goal, Gareth Taylor worked increadibly hard all day as he chased down loose balls and displayed some brilliant hold up play to waste some time for Tranmere.

Jones' Man Of The Match: Undoubably, the award must go to one of the two centre backs who were terrific for Rovers this afternoon. Antony Kay however probably shades it, as he won headers in both boxes and tackled brilliantly to help Ronnie Moore's side keep a clean sheet.