Rovers 0 Notts County 2: Paul Goodwin's verdict

MARTIN 'Mad Dog' Allen was reluctant to let his players off the leash before kick-off.

He warmed up alongside them, he barked out orders during a mass pre-match huddle and he whipped the large contingent of travelling fans into an FA Cup frenzy with his passionate gesticulating.

Everything County did, they did as one.

The Magpies can hardly claim to play Total Football, but what they do have is Total Unity - and it was their sheer spirit and solidarity that won the oldest Football League club a place in the fourth round.

Doncaster had shown a similar unity just five days earlier when they bossed Barnsley; a performance that offered genuine hope for the New Year.

But the tenacity displayed against the Tykes was nowhere to be seen - just like absent star striker Billy Sharp - as Rovers went out of the cup with a whimper.

*Read Paul Goodwin's full verdict in this week's Free Press.