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Rovers in Sharp no goal fury

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24 Mar 2010 12:30:00

Rovers in Sharp no goal fury

It was visitors Newcastle, not Doncaster Rovers, who took their cue from Doncaster boxer Jamie McDonnell at the Keepmoat Stadium last night. McDonnell paraded the European bantamweight title he won in France on Saturday night with a tenth round stoppage, during the half-time interval of the eagerly-awaited Championship clash.The Magpies produced a knockout blow of their own in the second half with leading scorer Andy Carroll bagging the only goal of the game to earn his table-topping side a hard-earned double.With all due respect to McDonnell, the first Doncaster boxer to hold three major titles at the same time for over 50 years, the thing most Rovers fans will remember will be Billy Sharp's late disallowed goal which, had it stood, would have earned them a share of the spoils.Said Rovers No 2 Richard O'Kelly, who was critical of all three officials on the night: "We've looked at the DVD and Billy is just in front of their centre-half, who has got his arm around his neck."What I'd like to know is why, if the linesman spotted that Billy was just offside,why hadn't he seen the foul?"O'Kelly also questioned why Rovers hadn't even been awarded a free-kick, when many in the ground felt that the Newcastle player - who was the last line of defence - should have been sent-off for obstructing Sharp some 30 yards out.Reflecting on the game O'Kelly said: "There was nothing in it for the first ten minutes - it was very tight."But when play opened up we created a couple of very good opportunities and were unlucky not to score."They were always a threat and their two wide players, who have fantastic ability, caused us problems but I thought our two full-backs and our two wide players Martin Woods and Dean Shiels worked really hard."Newcastle have got some really good players and which ever way you look at it I thought that we coped very well tonight and we had the best chances in the first half." "We didn't try and change things at half-time, we just said that we needed to try and break their line a little and try and get the other side of them."The goal came because they organise quickly and drop into good lines.Good sides break the play up and counter-attack very quickly through Routlede and Carroll."Routledge was always a threat with his pace but I thought Martin Woods, Gareth Roberts and James O'Connor worked well as a three to negate that threat."Our spirit after going behind was fantastic, which is the hallmark of a good team."We are a million miles away from Newcastle in terms of crowds and top flight experience and other things, but despite playing against players of their calibre we are only a yard away on the pitch."That is all very encouraging for the future but all I can think about at this moment in time is the fact that we've lost a game."


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