Doncaster 1-1 Coventry: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:50 29/10/11 By MirrorFootball
James Hayter claimed his third goal of the season to save battling Doncaster from a third successive Championship defeat.
His second-half strike lifted spirits at the Keepmoat Stadium after depressing set-backs at Blackpool and Portsmouth, but boss Dean Saunders won’t be fooled.
The former Liverpool and Wales striker knows there is a lot of hard work ahead if he is to save the Yorkshire side from a return to League One after four seasons in the second tier.
He said: “It was very important we never lost the game – it stopped a little bit of a bad run.
“The encouraging aspect was we came from behind and that’s not the first time we’ve dug out a result since I came here.”
Mysteriously missing from Donny’s starting line-up was their top striker Billy Sharp.
And the fact he wasn’t even among the subs had conspiracy theorists speculating about a move to Ipswich.
Tractor Boys’ boss Paul Jewell, who failed in a £2million swoop for Sharp in the summer, has revived his interest in the striker after failing to land Huddersfield’s Jordan Rhodes.
Jewell is hoping to take Sharp on loan with a view to a £1.5m deal for him in the January transfer window.
The way Rovers opened up against fellow strugglers Coventry suggested they might be able to cope without Sharp, who has bagged 29 goals in 57 starts since joining from Sheffield United for £1.15m. After only four minutes, Sharp’s regular front-running partner Hayter was unlucky not to put the home side ahead with a shot on the turn that was deflected behind.
Barnes caught the eye with a powerful performance, but missed the best chance of the first-half, flicking wide a header.
Donny were made to rue that squandered chance in the 31st minute when Coventry took the lead with their first genuine strike on goal.
It was Richard Keogh who released Sam Clingan, and City’s skipper beat veteran keeper Neil Sullivan with a 25-yard rocket.
James Coppinger replaced the injured Barnes after the break and, within 14 minutes of entering the action, he laid on the home side’s leveller.
Coppinger floated a tantalising ball in to the box, and Hayter was on hand to volley in.
The result means Coventry have still yet to win away this season and boss Andy Thorn said: “We allowed them a sloppy equaliser but we kept going for it at the end.”0