It was a night when the emerging themes of the season were repeated. Missed penalties; magnificent James Coppinger and shaky defence when under pressure. Carlisle are a good side and it is no surprise they remain undefeated. Well organised at the back, solid going forward and using the full width of the pitch.
However in the first half they were no match for a rampant Rovers. Coppinger was everywhere as was Tommy Rowe and the first goal was a well-constructed response to a slightly fortuitous Shaun Miller goal for the visitors. Once Rovers scored then the floodgates opened and there could and should have been more goals than the one scored by John Marquis at the end of the half.
At the beginning of the second half Rovers were awarded a penalty and a chance to take what they were owed from the first half and whilst the penalty was struck firmly by Tommy Rowe it was against the post.
Rovers performance then began to drift and following two clever substitutions by the Carlisle manager the game began to turn and it was no surprise when they equalised through Jabo Ibehre. There was still a chance for a blatant penalty appeal by the Rovers to be turned down, however I imagine most Donny fans shared my relief when the final whistle went, halting another Carlisle attack.
In summary good first half; a poor send one and a penalty miss which if scored would have made the difference.
by Chris Peat