DONCASTER Rovers manager Dean Saunders refused to be downbeat despite seeing his side draw for the fourth time in five matches against promotion-chasing Reading last night.
Kyle Bennett grabbed his fifth goal of the season to put Rovers ahead in the 27th minute but Alex Pearce made it 1-1 six minutes after the re-start.
It took a series of superb stops late on from Wolves loanee Carl Ikeme to ensure the hosts stretched their unbeaten run to five matches. The draw leaves Saunders men three points from safety and they crucially have a game in hand on 21st placed Bristol City.
Saunders said: “We matched them and we have got a point. It is a point nearer safety. We have got two big home games coming up and we are hard to play against now.”
The former Wrexham chief felt it was an “even” contest but acknowledged his team struggled to cope with Ian Harte’s set plays. It was Harte’s delivery which created the leveller.
“I thought we played well and it was a good game,” he said. “I thought we made lots of chances and the difference in the end was Ian Harte. His deliveries tonight were probably the best I have ever seen for consistency.
“We were having all sorts of problems [trying to defend them]. I thought we got away with three or four in the first half.
Saunders said Rovers sorely missed Shelton Martis defensively. The giant centre-back missed the clash because of a groin problem. He hopes he will be fit for the visit of Derby County on Saturday.
“We missed Shelton,” he said. “He is too vital for us so I didn’t want to risk him. Hopefully he will be alright for the weekend.”