Story of the game as Doncaster Rovers forced to settle for draw against Cambridge United

It is time to build some momentum for Doncaster Rovers as they welcome Cambridge United – and you can follow their attempt to do so as-it-happens.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 11:48 pm
Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers

Join us from the Keepmoat as Rovers look to build on Saturday’s win over Cheltenham Town and pull themselves away from the foot of the table. It will not be easy against a battling Cambridge side seeking to secure survival.

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LIVE: Doncaster Rovers 1 Cambridge United 1

Last updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2021, 22:22

GOAL: Gardner o.g. (7), Galbraith (68)

ROVERS: Dahlberg; Galbraith, Williams, Anderson, Olowu; Bostock (Cukur 80), Smith; Vilca, Gardner (Knoyle 40), Hiwula; Dodoo. Subs: Jones, Blythe, Horton, Hasani, Barlow.

CAMBRIDGE: Holy; Williams, Jones, Okedina, Iredale; Tracey (Knibbs 72), Weir, Worman, Brophy, Dunk; Smith (Ironside 72). Subs: McKenzie-Lyle, Davies, Simper, Lankester, Masterson.

REFEREE: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR TOO LONG

Rovers put points on the board in consecutive matches for the first time this season.

There’s a positive in that but they did themselves no favours tonight for such long periods of the game as they struggled for the sort of attacking spark they needed to break down .

They played the ball around well but the tempo was not quick enough on too many occasions.

That said, it is another building block forward.

9.50pm ALL OVER

It ends all square here at the Keepmoat

90+2 OFF THE BAR

Joe Ironside powers a header onto the crossbar and forces an almighty scramble, with Dahlberg eventually tipping over.

9.42pm ADDED TIME

FIVE minutes

86min ONLY ONE SIDE PUSHING

It’s been all Rovers since the goal and they look the most likely to grab a winner. Time is running out though.

81min SO CLOSE

Rodrigo Vilca hits an acrobatic volley over the bar from ten yards after racing onto a cross.

80min SUBSTITUTION

Tiago Cukur replaces John Bostock.

Cukur has gone wide right with Rodrigo Vilca moving into the middle and Matt Smith dropping deeper into midfield.

68min GGGGGOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!! ROVERS!!

Ethan Galbraith with an absolute stunner for Rovers. What a boy!

Galbraith started the move with a lovely diagonal ball out to Jordy Hiwula, who found his way into the box blocked off so returned the ball square to the Manchester United loanee who smashed in off the post from close to 30 yards.

He has provided the magic again.

62min CHANCE

Joe Dodoo gallops out of midfield with the ball and holds off his man. He elects to shoot and sees it deflect wide. A pass out to Kyle Knoyle may well have been the better option.

60min NOT HAPPENING

It’s all a bit tame from Rovers at the minute. They’re facing an increasingly deep opposition and they’re lacking the spark to break them down.

51min STRIKE

Jordy Hiwula runs in from deep to meet a half cleared corner first time only to see his shot deflected wide.

8.57pm BACK UNDERWAY

Jensen Weir takes the kick-off for Cambridge

LIKE A DIFFERENT TEAM FROM THE WEEKEND

Rovers are night and day from the confident, composed side that earned the win over Cheltenham at the weekend. Their play has been error strewn, overly cautious and lacking in any sort of zip, barring a few decent moments.

They couldn’t handle the Cambridge press in the early stages and made problems for themselves, taking too much time on the ball and seeing it pinched away - none more so than with the goal.

It has improved slightly as Cambridge have not been as intense with their press but the visitors are employing a low block and Rovers are having difficulty playing through it, with the ball ending up played sideways or backwards far too much.

Richie Wellens brought off Gardner on 40 minutes and in truth it could have been much earlier. He wanted more pressing of the Cambridge sitting midfielders but didn’t get it, despite asking on several occasions.

A massive improvement is needed after the break if Rovers are to get back into this.

8.39pm THAT’S THE BREAK

And Rovers trail 1-0 at half time.

8.34pm ADDED TIME

THREE minutes

40min SUBSTITUTION

Dan Gardner is replaced by Kyle Knoyle.

It’s a tactical switch for Rovers with Knoyle going in at right back and Ethan Galbraith pushing into midfield.

Richie Wellens had not been happy with Gardner’s off the ball work.

35min DECENT EFFORT

The ball is played in to Joe Dodoo with his back to goal on the angle. He turns and hooks a shot which Tomas Holy holds well.

32min NIPPED AWAY

Joe Dodoo looks set to slam in from ten yards after brilliant work by Jordy Hiwula but it’s stolen off his toe at the last moment.

30min VERY NEARLY TWO

Rovers are very vulnerable down their left and another cross comes in which Sam Smith rises to meet unmarked but powers his header over the bar.

27min CLOSE TO A SECOND

Shilow Tracey gets the better of Joseph Olowu again and smashes a cross across the face of goal which both Sam Smth and James Brophy come close to connecting with.

20min FINDING THEIR FEET

After the shaky start to the game, Rovers have settled into this one and are beginning to build attacks. They’re struggling to deal with Cambridge’s press and have been caught in possession of occasions.

18min GOOD OPPORTUNITY

Ethan Galbraith plays a superb ball forward that Matt Smith brings down on the edge of the box. The Arsenal loanee turns inside and drills a low effort which Tomas Holy tips wide of the near post.

13min CHANCES TO LEVEL

Jordy Hiwula is played through clear by Joe Dodoo. He opts to try to place the ball through the keeper’s legs but Tomas Holy gets enough of a touch to block it going through.

Moments later, Rodrigo Vilca tests the keeper’s alterness with a low strike from the corner of the box but Holy saves it and grasps at the second attempt.

7min GOAL CAMBRIDGE

Rovers are behind early in this one courtesy of a Dan Gardner own goal.

Joseph Olowu was caught in possession inside the Rovers box with Shilow Tracey stealing the ball away. Tracey eventually drills the ball across goal where Gardner slices it into his own net.

Rovers have been caught out a few times deep inside their own territory in this game and they’ve been punished.

7.49pm UNDERWAY

Matt Smith takes the kick-off and we’re underway.

THE TEAMS ARE IN

And it’s TWO changes from the side that started against Cheltenham at the weekend as both Tommy Rowe and Ben Close miss out through injury.

Coming in are Matt Smith and Dan Gardner. Kyle Knoyle does not return to the starting XI against his former club.

Richie Wellens has kept his cards very close to his chest on the approach tonight but there is a good chance he is plumping for the same formation that served Rovers so well against Cheltenham, which will see Ethan Galbraith continue in his versatile right back role. In that case, it is likely Gardner will start in the number ten role of a fluid midfield.

Again, the bench is youthful with Ben Blythe returning to the matchday squad.

The visitors make six changes to the side that lost at Shrewsbury, including handing a debut to emergency loan signing Tomas Holy in goal.

EARLY TEAM NEWS

Rovers could be without Tommy Rowe who continues to struggle with a back issue after suffering a spasm against Cheltenham at the weekend.

Ben Close is also struggling with an ongoing hamstring complaint but Jon Taylor has been ruled out entirely after suffering a setback with his ankle injury.

Cambridge will have a new keeper between the sticks tonight after signing Tomas Holy on an emergency loan from Ipswich Town.

Dimitri Minov suffered a concussion in the defeat to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday while Will Mannion was sent out on loan on Friday, leaving boss Mark Bonner with only one goalkeeper on his books. Holy must start the game due to the terms of an emergency loan.Greg Taylor and Liam O’Neil have also been ruled out through injury, while Paul Digby is suspended.

Adam May was sent off against Shrewsbury but Cambridge have appealed - though they have yet to confirm the outcome.

A BIG OPPORTUNITY

Saturday’s win over Cheltenham Town was a big one for Rovers - but now they must make it count by following it up with another positive result against a side alongside them in the lower reaches of the table.

Cambridge head to the Keepmoat having failed to win in their last six matches - though they have drawn four games in that run. They currently sit in 18th place in League One, five points ahead of Rovers.

Richie Wellens’ side have failed to follow up any positive result in the league with another and will be hoping to end that unwanted record tonight.

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