Match analysis: Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 0

Theo Robinson
Theo Robinson

There are no prizes for being sixth in January.

But for a Doncaster Rovers side who, by their own admission, have lacked self belief at times this season, it might have proven to be just the confidence boost they required, had they managed to find a way through a resilient Notts County team and leapfrogged up the League One table in spectacular style.

NSST 20-1-15 Doncaster Rovers v Notts County Skybet League One''Rovers Luke McCullough battles it out with alan smith

NSST 20-1-15 Doncaster Rovers v Notts County Skybet League One''Rovers Luke McCullough battles it out with alan smith

Instead, Rovers are tenth in the table.

And they will head into the rare luxury of a prolonged break with one clear objective on the training field and, perhaps, in what remains of the January transfer window: how to cure their lack of goals.

With Richie Wellens absent, manager Paul Dickov could not have been much bolder in his team selection.

Rovers had not won this season with James Coppinger, Kyle Bennett and Harry Forrester in the same starting eleven, but that attacking trio lined up behind Theo Robinson and the recalled Nathan Tyson.

But, along with substitute Curtis Main, none of Rovers’ attacking options could find a way past goalie Roy Carroll and a disciplined Notts County defence.

It was the seventh time this season Doncaster had failed to score at home.

Deja-vu.

And if Rovers do have ambitions on that top six, it is something that needs addressing one way or another over the next fortnight.

Forrester was in the thick of the action from the off and the only player to register a shot in a scrappy, subdued opening quarter hour.

Carroll had earlier questioned the pressure of the ball, to no avail, but it was proving to be a flat spectacle until a flurry of activity sparked by Robinson ballooning a shot over the bar from distance.

Almost immediately Alan Smith rattled the bar at the other end with a spectacular half volley from 30 yards, while Coppinger headed Bennett’s delightful cross just wide - before the game settled once again into a more sedate pattern.

Rovers had enjoyed better territory but County had had their moments too.

The hosts appealed for a penalty on the stroke of half time when Coppinger went down under the challenge of Carroll but referee Richard Clark was not in the slightest bit interested.

Doncaster started the second period on top too, Tyson rounding Carroll but the angle proved too tight before Forrester’s pull back somehow evaded three men in red and white.

Robinson snatched at a shot from the edge of the box, while at the other end Reece Wabara made a vital block from Garry Thompson’s goal-bound effort.

Rovers looked more likely to nick one, but their in-the-spotlight strikers continued to miss-fire as Main wasted two great openings in the space of a minute, Carroll blocking his tentative shots on both occasions.

In a bizarre end to the game, Kwame Thomas was subbed off and then sent off, shown a second yellow card for time wasting.

But despite a late assault on the County goal, it ended goalless. An all too familiar feeling.