Snap report: Southend United 0 Doncaster Rovers 0

Rovers battled out a hard-fought goalless draw on a quagmire of a pitch at Southend United.

Friday, 9th March 2018, 5:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th March 2018, 4:00 pm
Southend United v Doncaster Rovers

There was very little between the two sides in a game played in exceptionally difficult conditions at Roots Hall on a pitch that only worsened as the match wore on.

Both sides had good chances to win it with Alex Kiwomya arguably having the best of Rovers' efforts.

And the visitors showed fine defensive organisation to keep out the hosts, particularly late in game when Chris Powell's side pushed hard.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rovers suffered a blow in the warm-up as Craig Alcock was ruled out - replaced in the starting XI by Matty Blair.

It brought the number of changes from the defeat to Rotherham United to five with Joe Wright, Mathieu Baudry, Jordan Houghton and Luke McCullough all coming in.

The Roots Hall pitch cut up very quickly and soon made playing the ball along the ground in certain areas very difficult indeed.

Both sides looked to get balls into the channels quickly to avoid the midfield quagmire and it lead to a less then entertaining spectacle.

Joe Wright missed a glorious chance to give Rovers the lead when he met a James Coppinger corner in space but powered his header well wide.

Michael Kightly showed his quality by cutting in off the left and curling a fine effort just past the far post.

Rovers were fortunate not to find themselves behind at the midpoint of the half. Former loanee Marc-Antoine Fortune played a superb first time pass which sent Stephen McLaughlin scarpering clear one-on-one with Marosi, only for the midfield to slide his shot wide of the far post.

But Rovers themselves should have gone ahead three minutes later.

Blair delivered a fine cross from the right which John Marquis met with a powerful header. Mark Oxley batted the attempt away, but only as far as Alex Kiwomya who drilled low first time only to see the Southend keeper save again.

Southend had the better of the chances in the remaining moments of the half and it took a pair of fine blocks from Joe Wright and Niall Mason to deny both Kightly and McLaughlin.

And McLaughlin struggled to get any power on a header from a Jason Demetriou cross, making for a simple save for Marosi.

Rovers pressed very well from the start of the second half and forced errors from Southend.

They forced the first save of the half when Mason robbed the ball in midfield and galloped to the edge of the area before drilling straight at Oxley.

And it took avital headed interception from Michael Turner to prevent Kiwomya from heading in Blair's cross.

Southend had two good chances in quick succession as Kightly drilled wide of the far post after being released on the left before Turner drew an excellent save from Marosi with a header.

Marquis looked to catch out the keeper with a low drilled free kick from 30 yards but it flew just past the near post.

Substitute Anthony Wordsworth really should have given Southend the lead in the dying moments when he met a low free kick from McLaughlin but side-footed well over the bar.

Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, Turner, Ferdinand, Coker, McLaughlin, Yearwood, Wright, Kightly (Harrison 80), Cox (Wordsworth 68), Fortune (Ladapo 87). Subs not used: Bishop, Timlin, Mantom, Kyprianou.

Rovers: Marosi, Blair, Wright, Baudry, Mason, Coppinger, McCullough, Houghton, Rowe, Marquis, Kiwomya (May 69). Subs not used: Lawlor, Whiteman, Kongolo, Ben Khemis, Williams.

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset)

Attendance: 6,766 (320)