DONCASTER Rovers still need a point from their last two games to be absolutely certain of retaining their Championship status after being held 2-2 by Barnsley at Oakwell yesterday.
Sheffield United can equal Rovers’ 47 point tally if they win their remaining games and the Keepmoat Stadium club lose at home to Leicester and away at Middlesbrough.
But with the Blades also having to overturn a goal difference of eight, Rovers remain firmly in the driving seat in the relegation battle despite dropping a place to 21st.
Rovers looked to be on course for their first win in ten games until Kieran Trippier levelled the scores with an 87th minute free-kick.
Rovers No 2 Richard O’Kelly was quick to praise the quality of Trippier’s strike but was critical of referee Peter Walton’s decision to award the free-kick just outside the box.
Even after looking at the incident on the match DVD he remains at a loss at to why the free-kick was awarded.
He also felt that Rovers were denied penalties for fouls on James O’Connor and Spurs’ loanee Ryan Mason.
O’Kelly said: “It was a cracking game. Barnsley are a good side and they didn’t give us anything.
“They’ve had a good season. It is always a difficult game against them and today was no different.”
“Young striker Noble-Lazarus is strong and very direct and likes to get shots on goal and he was a difficult opponent for right-back Sam Hird coming back into the side after being out for a few weeks, but I thought he coped really well.
“Nathan Doyle was always a threat and part of a strong Barnsley midfield, but we coped well and it was a good battle with Oster, Gillett and Mason.
“A lot of the decisions didn’t go for us and that can be very frustrating for the players. But the way they remained focused on what they had to do was outstanding.
“Both our goals came from people having shots at goal, which is what we encourage them to do, and reacting off the rebound.
“James Coppinger’s awareness led to the first of Jason Euell’s two goals, and Jason also benefited from a John Oster shot in the second half which the keeper couldn’t hold.”
“I said after the Palace game, when I had a couple of chances that it is important to be in the right place at the right time and fortunately I was today,” said Euell.
“They fell nicely for me today and at 2-1 I thought that we’d go and win the game because we were on top.
“Obviously we are all disappointed that we didn’t pick up all three points because we played well throughout. We showed what we could do going forward and we also defensively we were quite tight.”