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Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Leeds United: Report
Published : 17 Sep 2010 19:37:52
Doncaster missed the chance to climb to second in the npower Championship table as they were held to a goalless Yorkshire derby draw by Leeds at the Keepmoat Stadium.
- Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Leeds United: As it happened
Both sides hit the woodwork in the first period - the impressive Davide Somma for Leeds and Dean Shiels for Rovers - and what the game lacked in goalmouth action was more than made up for by some high-quality football from two teams who should be challenging for the play-offs on this form.
The hosts could have reached the dizzy heights of second with victory, while Leeds, who could have moved third, went some way to redeeming themselves after performing miserably in a 5-2 White Rose derby defeat at Barnsley earlier in the week.
Doncaster made just one change, with Shiels starting in midfield in place of Mark Wilson, while Leeds boss Simon Grayson brought in five new faces after Tuesday's rude awakening at Oakwell.
Alex Bruce, Andrew Hughes and Aidan White formed a new-look defence, while Davide Somma and Ross McCormack were partnered up front.
Had it not been for Hughes' brilliant block to thwart Billy Sharp, Rovers would have been ahead inside the first minute.
But after the helter-skelter opening exchanges, both sides probed without asking serious questions until Somma crashed a 20-yard shot on to the crossbar in the 23rd minute.
McCormack teed up Somma moments later and the South Africa-born striker flashed another effort inches over, while Doncaster responded when Shiels curled a superb shot against the post at the other end three minutes later.
Leeds should have taken the lead in the 39th minute when Bradley Johnson's precision pass unlocked the home defence, but Doncaster goalkeeper Neil Sullivan denied his former club by saving Somma's shot smartly with his legs.
Somma pulled his shot wide after galloping on to Neil Kilkenny's through-ball two minutes after the restart when he should have hit the target.
Max Gradel's angled drive, after being cleverly played in by Somma, was punched away by Sullivan and McCormack's swerving 20-yard shot was well held by the Doncaster goalkeeper.
The game remained delicately poised when Leeds substitute Robert Snodgrass replaced McCormack to make his first appearance of the season in the 67th minute.
Leeds thought they had broken the deadlock in the 74th minute when Somma followed up Johnson's volley to fire home the rebound, but the referee's assistant spoilt the moment for over 3,200 away fans by flagging for offside.
Somma appeared to be shoved in the penalty area when setting himself to attack Johnson's cross but referee Andy Woolmer was unimpressed by Leeds' appeals.
Doncaster attempted to mount a late rally as the game entered the closing stages, but an assured Leeds defence held firm.