Coventry City 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: Big point but so close to more for battling Rovers

Doncaster Rovers became the first side this season to take points off Coventry City at St Andrews - but it could have so much more.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 6:03 pm
Coventry City v Doncaster Rovers
Coventry City v Doncaster Rovers

Ben Whiteman's first half goal but Rovers ahead at the unbeaten Sky Blues' temporary home.

And it looked as though Darren Moore's side would be able to hold out for a memorable win until substitute Amadou Bakayoko smashed in an equaliser in the final minute of normal time.

Rovers came under pressure for much of the game from comfortably the best side they have faced so far this season but showed excellent resolve while also threatening on the counter.

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Darren Moore was forced to into one change with Cameron John ruled out injured and Donervon Daniels coming in for his full debut.

Rovers started the stronger and should have been ahead early when Niall Ennis was played into space by James Coppinger but fired wide from 15 yards.

Kieran Sadlier then attempted to catch former Rovers keeper Marko Marosi cold with a potshot from the right but the Slovakian was equal to it.

And Sadlier should have done better moments later when played in by Coppinger but fired over with an early shot.

Coventry grew into the game and began to enjoy the better of the midfield play.

Matty Godden took advantage of confusion at the back from Rovers to turn and shoot, with a deflection carrying the ball wide.

And the hosts really should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when a superb pass from Jordan Shipley put Jordy Hiwula clean in behind Brad Halliday only for him to fire wide.

A free kick for Ben Sheaf offered a brief respite from growing Coventry pressure but he shot straight at Marosi from 30 yards.

Wesley Jobello struck the bar with a driven cross while Callum O'Hare tested Seny Dieng's alertness with a shot poweref towards the near post from a tight angle.

Hiwula was again guilty of missing a golden opportunity. He again latched onto a low pass on the left of the box but fired straight at Dieng.

Rovers punished the miss on 41 minutes as they took the lead.

Starting at the back, Sadlier took possession and released Halliday down the right. He powered forward and cut a low pass into the box which Jon Taylor left, allowing Whiteman to charge in and sweep a shot into the bottom corner.

There was an early blow in the second half for Rovers as Niall Ennis was forced off injured and replaced by Alfie May, with Sadlier shifting into the lone striker role.

And Sadlier cut out a slack backpass from Kyle McFadzean before playing in Coppinger who was superbly blocked out by the recovering Liam Walsh as he looked to pounce.

Taylor smashed high and wide after being played in by Coppinger.

Coventry began to enjoy threats of their own but blocks from Tom Anderson and Daniels snuffed out chances and ensured Dieng was not unduly troubled.

Halliday made a vital block and clearance from a cross from substitute Gervane Kastaneer before Daniels got in just ahead of Godden for a vital interception just two yards out.

The pressure finally told in the final minute of time however when the ball fell for Bakayoko in the box and he smashed an unstoppable effort beyond Dieng.

Coventry threatened to nick a late winner after O'Hare was played in clear only for Dieng to race out and swipe clear with the last touch of the game.

COVENTRY: Marosi; Dabo, McFadzean, Hyam, Mason; Walsh, Shipley; Jobello (Kastaneer 63), O'Hare, Hiwula (Bakayoko 83); Godden. Subs not used: Wilson, Rose, Westbrooke, McCallum, Eccles.

ROVERS: Dieng; Halliday, Anderson, Daniels, James; Whiteman, Sheaf; Sadlier (Gomes 90), Coppinger, Taylor; Ennis (May 51). Subs not used: Lawlor, Wright, Amos, Kiwomya, Longbottom.

REFEREE: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)

ATTENDANCE: 7,010 (811 away)