Doncaster Rovers 3-2 Barnet: 250 word match report

It’s tempting to focus on another bizarre Trevor Kettle performance – epitomised by his second half decision to stop play mid-Rovers attack, wait two minutes, then award a dropball – but it would be unjust to let him overshadow what was actually an enthralling contest.

In-form Rovers began with familiar dominance, James Coppinger impressing again with a sublime volley to take the lead on 14 minutes. Rovers then pushed on for a second and got it on the half hour when neat interplay with Liam Mandeville allowed Matty Blair to break free and slot home.

In contrast, Barnet offered little response other than the constant quest for set pieces, the crudely effective 40 yard throws of Sam Muggleton, and the kind of physical enthusiasm for which Martin Allen’s sides are renowned. However, when Rovers’ second half push for a third faded, the relentless airborne party tricks gave Barnet the edge, culminating on the hour with Bira Dembélé’s heading home for 2-1.

Momentum now with Barnet, Rovers were now less confident and switched to three at the back in an attempt to shore up their own area. However, with five minutes left, another 40 yard throw down the left flank was pulled back for Luke Gambin to slot into the bottom corner, levelling things up.

Cue a frantic finale that saw Andy Williams controversially booked for diving, before MOTM Blair went on a sensational run down the right, crossing for Williams to convert at the near post, and secure Rovers all three points.

by Lazarus