Doncaster Rovers 1 – 1 Peterborough United
Location: Keepmoat Stadium
Date: 25th February, 2012
Attendance: 10,375 (2,053 Posh fans)
After winning for the first time in eight matches and then signing their first million pound player, Posh were looking to cap an excellent week by winning their second match in a row against basement team Doncaster Rovers. They were also looking for a good send-off for central defender Ryan Bennett who was playing his final game for Posh before making the move to Premiership side Norwich City.
Posh were backed by an excellent following of over 2,000 fans at the Keepmoat but it didn`t go quite according to plan as Posh put in probably their worst 45 minutes of the season!
Craig Alcock was missing from the Posh defence for only the fifth time this season following an injury he picked up during training in mid-week while the expensive new recruit, Tyrone Barnett, had to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
Doncaster had much of the better play as Posh struggled to get in the Rovers half during the first period. Yet despite their domination, they struggled to create many clear cut chances that troubled the Posh backline.
In fact, it took until the 26th minute for Rovers to finally get a shot on target, but Kyle Bennett`s effort was directed straight at keeper Paul Jones after good play by Simon Gillet. Bennett then set up an effort for Gillet but as he dithered, Mark Little made the tackle just as he got the shot away.
On the only occasion Posh did register a shot on target in the first half, Lee Frecklington`s volley was dealt with easily by Spurs loanee David Button.
A mistake by Grant McCann just inside the Rovers half allowed Bennett to race into the Posh half and release Mamadou Bagayoko who easily beat his man but produced a tame shot on target which was pushed wide by Jones for a corner.
Briggs showed his willingness to get forward for Posh as he created a chance for himself, but his 30-yard effort went wide of the Rovers goal on 43 minutes.
With time running out, it looked like the teams would go into half time at a stalemate. That was until Posh conceded a freekick wide out on the Posh left. The kick was taken by El Hadji-Diouf who fired the ball high and long into the penalty area. With all the players spread out across the box, it should`ve been a simple collection, or at worst a punch clear by the keeper, but Jones decided to glue himself to his line to watch a poor challenge, or rather no real challenge, by Mark Little allowed Giles BARNES to head into the goal for what was a deserved lead.
Half-time: Doncaster Rovers 1 – 0 Peterborough United
Posh surprisingly didn`t make any changes at half time despite having played very poorly throughtout the first half and they were nearly made to pay dearly as Bennett almost doubled Rovers advantage with just seconds of the re-start.
Paul Taylor then created a chance for himself but his shot went wide?as did many of his efforts during the game! If only he could be more aware of his fellow team mates who are sometimes in much better positions than himself.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson did finally make a change after only seven minutes of the second half gone. It was time for the introduction of Tyrone Barnett.
It seemed the introduction of Barnett in place of David Ball and Emile Sinclair for Lee Tomlin just four minutes later, had the desired effort to kick start Posh`s challenge.
Grant McCann sent a swerving effort towards Button who saved it unconvincingly on the hour mark before a McCann corner was met by the head of Barnett only to see Button push the ball over the bar.
The game was now going from end to end as Bennett then hit a shot past the Posh post before Taylor had an effort saved by Button. He then had another effort parried by Button with Rovers clearing the rebound before Posh could capitalise on the loose ball.
Tommy Rowe became Posh`s final substitute after 67 minutes replacing Frecklington who has struggled to find his form since returning from injury. A minute later, Taylor had another shot from distance which once again went wide of the goal!
Briggs then created a chance for Sinclair but his left footed effort went straight at Button. Posh were turning the screw and were looking the more likely to score but with every effort, the ball seemed to go wide or straight at the keeper.
With time nearly up, a free kick from McCann found Barnett at the back post but he couldn`t direct his shot on target. That looked as if it could`ve been Posh`s last real chance to equalise. That is until the fourth official produced the board saying there`d be an extra five added minutes.
Posh`s hopes were raised by this as they went in pursuit of the goal that would give them a precious point and it didn`t take them long. Just a minute into added time, the ball was played out wide to centre back Ryan Bennett who was playing his last game for Posh. He put in an excellent cross which found the head of debutant Barnett to stoop low and place his header wide of the keeper and into the back of the net.
Full-time: Doncaster Rovers 1 – 1 Peterborough United
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