DONCASTER Rovers dramatically equalised late at Crewe Alexander tonight but went on to lose a penalty shoot-out and forfeit the chance to progress to the northern section JPT semi final.
They had come from behind in a pulsating last few minutes to force themselves level.
But they couldn’t see the job through in a penalty shoot out at Gresty Road.
It had been a topsy-turvy game.
David Cotterill had crossed a ball for Chris Brown to head left of the target early on.
Cotterill then had an effort on goal himself from outside the penalty box, again going left of the net.
A goal would have been ample reward for some good early possession in this JPT northern quarter final.
But on 17 minutes, Chuks Aneke fired in a left-footer which could have caused Rovers problems.
Cotterill set up Brown again, but his header sailed over the bar.
Yet all the domination counted for little as Crewe took the lead in injury time of the first half, Parisian striker Mathias Pogba doing the damage.
After the interval, James Husband teed up Chris Brown, but he couldn’t get his shot past Phillips.
Cotterill’s hard work ended with a substitution, Iain Hume coming on to try and kick-start a Rovers’ fightback.
On 55 minutes, Brown flashed a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
Rovers mounted some intermittent pressure; but found it hard to breach the dam.
And they could have conceded again with eight minutes to go when a Bradden Inman cross was headed by Mathias Pogba on to the post.
But with Matt Tootle ordered off for Crewe, Rovers equalised through Brown.
However, Crewe win 5-3 on penalties.
Crewe: Phillips, Tootle, Robertson, Dugdale, Davis, Aneke, Inman, Osman, Clayton, Dalla Valle Pogba.
Subs Martin, Ellis, Moore, Turton, Colclough.
Rovers: G Woods. Griffin, Wakefield, Martis, Husband, Cotterill, Clingan, Meade, Middleton, Blake, Brown.
Subs: Quinn, Hume, Maxted, Ball, Finnegan.
Read a fuller report in Wednesday’s Star.