Match report: Doncaster Rovers 1 Nottingham Forest 2

Doncaster Rovers conceded another stoppage time goal to bow out of the EFL Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest.

Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 8:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 10:19 pm
Jamie Ward celebrates netting the winner for Nottingham Forest against Rovers

Forest bossed the first half and deservedly led courtesy a superb strike from David Vaughan.

The second period was much more of an even contest as Rovers worked hard to close down their Championship opponents and get in their faces.

Liam Mandeville celebrates his equalising goal for Rovers in the EFL Cup clash with Nottingham Forest

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They posed more questions of their own too and got their reward with an equaliser from substitute Liam Mandeville.

But with extra time looming Jamie Ward pounced with a late winner - just like Accrington Stanley did at the weekend.

There was controversy in the build-up to the winning goal, as Rovers appealed for a foul on Tommy Rowe before Forest broke quickly and booked their place in round two.

Goalkeeper Marko Marosi was handed a chance to impress - one of four changes from the side that lost at Accrington - but virtually his first touch was to pick the ball out of his own net.

Liam Mandeville celebrates his equalising goal for Rovers in the EFL Cup clash with Nottingham Forest

Ward’s free kick from the left was only half headed clear and Vaughan was on hand to smash home a stunning effort from the edge of the box.

Joe Wright and Tyler Garratt also made their debuts in a re-jigged back five, and the pair were kept busy early on as Forest rather dictated the opening third of the game.

Matty Blair was again an outlet for Rovers on the right as he showed a willingness to get forward and take on his man.

Forest continued to enjoy more possession but there was some encouragement for the hosts just after the half hour mark when John Marquis, whose work-rate again caught the eye, hit a half volley just over the bar after some neat build-up.

Marosi, meanwhile, whose kicking had been questionable at times, did just enough to deal with a long range effort from Apostolos Vellios.

Rovers introduced Riccardo Calder at the break at the expense of Andy Butler and saw a bit more of the ball immediately upon the re-start.

They pressed higher up and put Forest under more pressure, although at times the visitors were still too slick in the way they moved the ball.

Just before the hour mark former Rovers defender Matt Mills came close to scoring against his former club when he headed Chris Cohen’s free kick over from six yards out.

All of a sudden the contest sprung into life with good chances at either end.

Forest goalkeeper Stephen Henderson dropped a routine catch but Andy Williams’ header lacked pace and power, before Vellios headed just wide at the other end.

Mandeville came on to add more creative spark and it was not long before the substitution had the desired effect.

Henderson made an excellent save to keep out a Marquis volley but from the resultant corner Mandeville tapped home the loose ball after Niall Mason’s header was blocked on the line.

The tie appeared to be heading for an extra half hour but Ward had other ideas, finding space down the left and slamming home.

Rovers: Marosi, Blair, Wright, Butler (Calder 46), Mason, Garratt, Houghton, Middleton (Mandeville 62), Rowe, Williams, Marquis. Subs not used: Etheridge, Lund, Evina, Coppinger, Beestin.

Forest: Henderson, Lichaj, Mills, Perquis, Traore, Cohen (Kasami 67), Vaughan, Paterson, Burke (Osborn 75), Ward (Veldwijk 90), Vellios. Subs not used: Mancienne, Lansbury, Lacovitti, Smith.

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 5,160