Match report: Crawley Town 0 Doncaster Rovers 0

Crawley Town v Doncaster Rovers

Crawley Town v Doncaster Rovers

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Another missed penalty cost Rovers dear as they were held to a goalless draw at Crawley Town.

John Marquis missed from the spot - the sixth failed penalty conversion from 13 awarded this season - as Rovers struggled to make first half dominance count.

A much more even second half played out as hosts Crawley rallied but neither side could break the deadlock and Rovers failed to build on their returning to winning ways in midweek.

Unsurprisingly, Darren Ferguson stuck with the same team that earned that win at Cambridge United.

And Rovers picked up where they left off with another good attacking performance, in the first half at least.

Crawley looked to build from the back but were far too sloppy in their own half, particularly under pressure from a high Rovers press.

It brought some rapid counterattacks for Rovers as they consistently robbed the ball in the middle of the park.

One such moment saw Alfie May scamper clear but his attempt to slide in John Marquis was cut out at the vital moment.

Mathiey Baudry sent a brilliant ball forward for Marquis but the forward hooked a shot wide from the edge of the box.

The strike duo were involved again as May went clear out wide following a good touch. He squared across the box to John Marquis who could not get his shot away before being closed down by Crawley keeper Glenn Morris.

Such pressure saw Rovers awarded a penalty on 21 minutes. Marquis flicked on for Tommy Rowe who went down under pressure from Mark Connolly.

Marquis - who scored from the spot in the midweek win over Cambridge United - struck his penalty low, the perfect height for Morris who palmed it away. May's attempt to turn in the rebound was blocked out for a corner.

Rovers continued to look the more dangerous side with play almost constantly taking place in the Crawley half.

There were few moments to worry them at the other end, though it took a vital block from Baudry to prevent James Collins reaching Enzio Boldewijn's cross from the right.

Rovers had arguably their best chance of the half from open play as the break approached. Marquis found Coppinger with a chipped pass into the box but the veteran's turn and shot was palmed away by the alert Morris.

Rovers did have the ball in the back of the net before half time. Coppinger's free kick into the box was flicked on by Baudry with May spinning off and drilling low past the keeper but the assistant's flag was up for offside.

Crawley started the second half much the brighter and arguably should have scored twice in the opening five minutes.

First, Joe McNerney powered a header on goal which Ian Lawlor just managed to tip onto the post while the follow up was deflected over.

And Mark Connolly drilled low from the subsequent corner with Lawlor blocking and the ricochet back off Connolly rolling narrowly wide.

Rovers roared back however and had three big chances of their own in quick succession.

First, Coppinger smashed a brilliant volley which look destined for goal until deflected over with a header.

From the subsequent corner, substitute Andy Williams saw a header blocked on the line.

And moments later, Coppinger saw a low curling effort from the edge of the box superbly saved by Morris.

Rovers' attacking play became all too desperate as the half wore on and mistakes came as they looked to be trying too hard to force something.

Gary McSheffrey made a difference when he replaced Coppinger with 17 minutes to go.

A superb corner from the veteran found Williams at the back post but his powerful header was blocked on the line by Jimmy Smith.

But that was as near as Rovers got to grabbing a winner.

Crawley: Morris, Lelan, Connolly, McNerney, Young, Smith, Payne, Boldewijn, Clifford (Murphy 71), Cox, Collins. Subs not used: Mersin, Yorwerth, Bawling, Djalo, Henderson,

Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Baudry, Butler, Alcock, Mason, Grant, Rowe, Coppinger (McSheffrey 73), Marquis, May (Williams 68). Subs not used: Etheridge, Evina, Middleton, Beestin, Longbottom.

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire)

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