Full time: Doncaster Rovers 0 Notts County 0

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Rovers missed the chance at moving into the top six after being held to a goalless draw by ten man Notts County.

Despite having much the better of the chances, Rovers could not breach resolute County, who had Kwame Thomas sent off in the most bizarre of circumstances four minutes from time.

Thomas - who was booked for kicking the ball away midway through the half - took too long in leaving the pitch on being substituted as was shown another yellow card by referee Richard Clark.

But the official did not initially realise what he had done, leading to a delay in play until the situation was eventually rectified.

And Notts County boss Shaun Derry was also sent off for his protests at the incident.

Versatile veteran Alan Smith rattled the bar with the best chance of an enthralling first half at the Keepmoat.

The former Manchester United and Leeds ace slammed a speculative 30 yard strike off the woodwork as Notts County threatened to take the lead.

And there was a brief moment of panic for Rovers when the rebound struck keeper Stephen Bywater only to roll clear of goal.

Moments later, Rovers almost went ahead when James Coppinger rose to meet Bennett’s cross but headed just wide of the upright.

It was an enthralling opening to the game on a bitterly cold night in Doncaster.

Both sides looked to press hard in midfield with both forced to look for balls over the top in search of an opening.

Harry Forrester looked to repeat his weekend heroics as Rovers started well.

The Rovers forward collected the ball 30 yards out, beat his man and drilled on goal, sending his shot over the bar.

Chances were few and far between during a first half largely characterised by the intense battle in midfield.

Rovers’ play in the opposition half was intricate with good running but opportunities to breach the Notts back line were rare.

Forrester was particularly lively in the opening 45 minutes as he looked to take advantage of his start for Rovers.

He darted forward in the last few seconds of the half, holding off a challenge from Smith and fired from the edge of the area but the shot sliced wide.

Rovers had a shout for a penalty on the stroke of half time. After Nathan Tyson tussled with keeper Roy Carroll, the ball fell for Coppinger who cut into the area and fell under a challenge. Referee Richard Clark was unmoved.

Rovers started the second half with real intent in the hunt for a top six spot against Notts County.

They crafted some superb chances in the opening ten minutes of the period as they finally began to get in behind their resolute visitors.

Nathan Tyson nipped in to take the ball away from keeper Roy Carroll but was too wide in taking his shot to find the open goal.

Forrester was played into the area by Theo Robinson but was blocked out as he lined up his shot.

And Forrester was involved again moments later as he skipped to the byline, only to see a Notts defender get the slightest of touches on his cut back to take the ball away from Robinson.

Main twice should have put Rovers in front as they looked to turn the screw late on.

First, Forrester drilled a shot from the edge of the box that was saved by Carroll. Main darted in and went for power rather than looking to lift the ball, making for an easy save for the Northern Ireland international.

And moments later his choice of shot again was poor as he spun onto a Kyle Bennett pass but looked to place the ball and again Carroll saved.

Carroll was again the hero for his side in stoppage time. Forrester went for a high curling strike, aiming for the far top corner but Carroll stuck a hand out and tipped the ball over the bar.

Rovers lay seige to the County goal in the final few moments but could not find the winner.

Rovers: Bywater, Wabara, McCullough, Butler, Stevens (Evina 69), Keegan, Coppinger, Forrester, Bennett, Tyson, Robinson.

Subs not used: Marosi, Evina, McCombe, Wakefield, De Val, Main, Middleton.

Notts County: Carroll, White (Dumbuya 63), Mullins, Hollis, Adams Jones (Bajner 61), Smith, G Thompson, Hayhurst, C Thompson, Thomas.

Subs not used: Pilkington, Murray, Cranston, Santos, Daniels

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland)

Cards: Yellow: Keegan 71 (Rovers), White 55, Thomas 65, Mullins 77 (all Notts); Red: Thomas 86

Att: 5,547