Doncaster Rovers 1 MK Dons 1: Late equaliser gets Rovers out of jail after another poor performance

Cameron John grabbed a late equaliser against MK Dons to rescue a late point from another below par performance from Doncaster Rovers.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 5:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th December 2019, 11:08 pm
Cameron John challenges MK Dons keeper Lee Nicholls. Picture: Marie Caley
Cameron John challenges MK Dons keeper Lee Nicholls. Picture: Marie Caley

It looked set to be another forgettable day at the office for a Rovers side who made plenty of mistakes in a sloppy showing against their struggling visitors.

Alex Gilbey's goal early in the second half looked to be enough for MK Dons to give their new boss Russell Martin his first league victory in charge.

But John's fortuitous late effort was enough to end Rovers' losing run - and drought in front of goal

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Darren Moore made four changes from the previous outing in the league with Jon Taylor missing out entirely while Joe Wright, Madger Gomes and the suspended Tom Anderson were also absent. In came Donverson Daniels, Cameron John, Alfie May and Kieran Sadlier.

Rovers looked to have taken an early lead when Sadlier's 25 yard drive nestled in the back of the net after several deflections, only for the assistant to flag for offside off Rakish Bingham.

The bright start continued with May drawing a fine save from MK Dons keeper Lee Nicholls from the edge of the box while Bingham hooked wide after controlling a Sadlier knockdown well.

Rovers were showing a renewed zip in their attacking play, producing some intricate passing and good movement around the MK Dons box.

But they were sloppy in other areas of the pitch, and it led to pressure where there need not have been any.

Regan Poole capitalised on ponderousness in the Rovers defence and volleyed over the bar before Joe Mason drilled a low effort wide of the far post after being afforded similar time and space.

Seny Dieng produced a stunning save at full stretch to keep out a strike from Gilbey that was an early warning of what was to come.

The tempo of Rovers' play dropped as the half wore on, which played straight into the hands of an opposition side in no rush to go about their own business.

But they had a couple of opportunities to go ahead.

Ben Whiteman caught a shot sweetly from the edge of the area, drawing a smart save from Nicholls.

And Sadlier also tested the MK Dons keeper's alertness with an early shot after being played in by Ben Sheaf.

It was a sloppy start to the second period for Rovers and they were punished seven minutes in.

Gilbey charged onto a lay-off and curled a wonderful effort beyond Dieng to suck the air out of the Keepmoat.

Going ahead played straight into MK Dons' hands, allowing them to pack men behind the ball whenever Rovers were in possession.

Moore sent on Max Watters for his league debut for the club in a bid to wrestle themselves back into the game.

Rovers thought they had the leveller ten minutes from time when Bingham played in Sadlier, who slotted into the bottom corner only to be flagged offside.

But the equaliser did come four minutes from time. A corner was blocked at the near post but the ball ricocheted in off John.

Watters almost grabbed the winner in added time as he hooked on goal but pulled his effort wide.

ROVERS: Dieng; Halliday, Daniels, John, James; Sheaf (Gomes 83), Whiteman; Sadlier, Coppinger, May (Watters 68); Bingham (Thomas 88). Subs: Jones, Wright, Greaves, Longbottom.

MK DONS: Nicholls, Lewington, Walsh, Poole, Brittain, Houghton, McGrandles, Gilbey, Boateng (Reeves 64), Mason (Kasumu 90), Agard (Nombe 74). Subs: Moore, Bowery, Dickenson.

REF: Scott Oldham (Lancashire)

ATT: 7,193 (271 away)