Doncaster Rovers face FA Cup first-round replay after twice surrendering lead against Accrington Stanley

Doncaster Rovers will face an FA Cup first-round replay after twice surrendering the lead against Accrington Stanley.
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Doncaster will no doubt be disappointed with the outcome after an utterly dominant first half which should have seen them score more than just once, with their breakthrough coming via an own goal.

Shaun Whalley brought an improved Accrington level after the break before Harrison Biggins' 25-yard screamer looked to have sent Rovers through, only for the visitors to equalise again through substitute Seamus Conneely.

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The replay is expected to be played on Tuesday, 14 November.

The Doncaster Rovers players celebrate the first goal.The Doncaster Rovers players celebrate the first goal.
The Doncaster Rovers players celebrate the first goal.

A depleted crowd of 3,226 and rainy weather did little to dampen the hosts' spirits and they raced into a ninth-minute lead after a fast start.

Mo Faal hit the bar with a free header from a free-kick with an Accrington player turning the ball into his own net after George Broadbent had delivered it back into the six-yard box.

Luke Molyneux then missed a golden chance to double Rovers' lead just a minute later when his close-range effort was blocked by Accrington keeper Jon McCracken.

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Doncaster came close again when Molyneux's delivery into the six-yard area evaded everyone when even the faintest of touches might have sent the ball over the line.

Just like the rain, Doncaster didn't relent and Tom Nixon and Broadbent sent shots high and wide when well placed.

But their best chance to score again in the first half fell to Faal, whose 6ft 5in frame was at full stretch to meet Nixon's low cross into the box.

McCracken somehow kept the ball out, however.

Owen Bailey pinched possession from the feet of ex-Rovers striker Josh Andrews as he prepared to shoot in a rare Accrington attack as League Two's seventh-placed side began to establish a foothold in the game before the break.

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Louis Jones was forced to tip a dipping effort from Rosarie Longelo over the bar but despite fielding a strong side Stanley were made to look passive for large parts of the first 45 minutes.

If the first period was one-sided the second was much more even and Jones made a fine save down low to keep out Joe Pritchard's close-range effort as Accrington stepped up their search for an equaliser.

Doncaster were forced to defend more and more but finally sprung back into life in an attacking sense shortly after the hour mark.

Substitute Kyle Hurst flicked the ball into the path of Faal who raced into the opposition box and squared for Molyneux to shoot but McCracken was equal to it.

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The home side nearly paid the price for those earlier missed chances when Andrews headed past Jones.

But referee Ross Joyce ruled the goal out for offside after lengthy deliberation with his assistant.

That decision counted for little as barely a minute later Whalley raced through on goal and curled his strike into the bottom corner.

Facing with the prospect of an unwanted replay, Doncaster replied in superb fashion as Biggins scored a contender for goal of the competition with a pile-driver.

That should have seen them through.

But poor defending gave Conneely the chance to sweep the ball home from a late corner to force a replay neither side will want.

Grant McCann's stretched side will now play seven times in November.

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