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Match Reports

Doncaster Rovers 0 Imps 0

20 November 2021

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The Imps had to settle for a point despite creating the best chances against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Michael Appleton’s side enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to find a way through, while Josh Griffiths was only truly tested once in the visiting goal as the visitors were largely in control at the back.

Anthony Scully returned to the side and the first chance of the game fell to him in just the second minute - although his snapshot, after Branden Horton failed to clear a corner properly, went wide.

Dan Nlundulu headed over a couple of minutes later, with Lasse Sorensen providing the cross after some good work with Scully on the right.

Both sides eased their way into the game, but the Imps created all the best chances - with a cross which was too high for Tommy Rowe the best the home side mustered in the opening period.

Nlundulu was proving effective in his running, hassling Joseph Olowu to win the ball back off the home defender but lifting his effort over as he tried to place the ball in the top far corner.

The offside flag was also up to stop him shortly afterwards after Sorensen found him in the area.

The home side were gifted their best opportunities of the opening half after 27 minutes when Conor McGrandles was late with a tackle on Rowe, earning himself a yellow card.

The central free-kick was from 30 yards out and inviting for a shot, but Jon Taylor’s effort did not beat the wall. Nlundulu conceded a set-piece in almost the same position immediately afterwards, and this time Rovers were no more effective as they went short to Joe Dodoo who was closed down as he tried to get his shot away.

Chances continued to come for the Imps with Chris Maguire sending an effort over, and only a great stop from Louis Jones in the home goal keeping the game goaless at the break.

Sorensen’s diving header from a Jamie Robson cross looked destined to go into the bottom-right corner, only for Jones to get down brilliantly to turn it away.

There was a chance from the resulting corner too, with a low pull-back finding Fiorini but his low effort went wide at the near post.

The final chances of the half again went the way of the Imps, with Nlundulu’s running down the right setting Scully away. The ball got away from him and his backheel was looking for Fiorini, with only a key interception from Anderson stopping him.

And Robson headed over from Maguire’s deep cross in first-half stoppage time as the Imps had to settle for goalless at the break.

The Imps did not make any changes at the interval although the home side had to bring Aidan Barlow on to replace the injured John Bostock.

The second-half took a while to truly get going, with the Imps again enjoying plenty of the ball but the home side also more adventurous than they were in the opening period.

Nearly 15 minutes had passed before the first real chance of the second half - with Fiorini sending an effort wide from distance after some good play down the left.

Both teams enjoyed a succession of corners in the second period without fashioning any clear opportunities, while Nlundulu caused plenty of problems with his running - earning a booking for home defender Tom Anderson after bringing him down.

A surging run from the on-loan Southampton man saw him beat several defenders before being squeezed out as he looked to get his shot away.

Michael Appleton made changes as he looked to find a breakthrough, with Hakeeb Adelakun replacing Scully then Freddie Draper coming on for Nlundulu.

Draper impressed, quickly creating an opportunity after twisting and turning down the right before finding Poole whose cutback looking for Fiorini was nicked off the toes of the Scotland U21 international.

Griffiths was called upon to make a save for the first time in the game after 80 minutes, having to be alert to tip over Barlow’s ambitious long-range effort.

The home side also forced a bit of pinball in the area a few minutes later, but none of their efforts found a way to force Griffiths into action.

That gave them belief as they entered the final stages and the game became stretched, with Rowe having a shot blocked for the home side and the Imps looking to counter quickly.

And a quick Imps counter following that opportunity saw space open up invitingly for Fiorini, but he could not keep his effort down.

Draper was close to getting his first senior goal a minute into time added on, as Fiorini found him with a delightful cross into the area. With a vital interception stopping him getting his shot away after he got into space.

A nice short corner routine led to Adelakun having the last opportunity of the game, with his shot from just inside the area blocked behind.

Attendance: 8,129 (2,383 away)

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