Doncaster Rovers 1 Charlton Athletic 1
A breathless game from first whistle to last yesterday as my brother and I joined 1,100 other Addicks in a noisy away end at the Keepmoat.
Both of us were drained after an emotional few days, and feelings were mixed on the train back to Kings Cross. It was frustrating not to win all three points after taking the lead, and from how well we played and for the periods of dominance throughout the game. Yet Phillips made two late outstanding saves to keep us in it, and then a linesman’s flag struck off what everyone in the ground believed was a last minute Donny winner.
We began the game so well. We kept the ball moving quickly, stretching play and over-running their midfield. Aribo was untouchable for the first half hour with great support from a willing Williams, the towering Bielik and a very busy Cullen.
Yet we were unable to create real goal scoring chances, there were plenty of half ones, but for all the dominance we could not make it count, and if it wasn’t enough for the Addicks behind the goal making it seem like a home game, Donny were playing like the away team, relying on quick breaks, but they did look dangerous coming forward.
The lino’s flag helped us a few times as did a Bauer block, but a Bielik volley did almost give us a half-time lead that we would have thoroughly deserved. It was saved by their keeper.
It was a very entertaining game and the 2nd half started in the same vein, but around the hour mark we noticeably stepped it up and started to exert real pressure down our end.
Taylor, who had spent a lot of time deep and wide collecting the ball, managed to get a shot in as the ball bounced around their box, and it hit the post. Aribo then got a couple of shots away, the latter one deflecting just wide for a corner.
A quick one was played short and back to Cullen whose cross-cum-shot hit a Donny player and went in. Wild celebrations ensued as I ended up a row in front with a complete stranger wrapped around me.
If only we could have hung on for more than 5 minutes. Bowyer perhaps strangely made a sub, but Igor was probably done. He’d run his socks off to be fair. Marshall came on as I suspect Bow tried to stifle the game. It didn’t work.
Wilks, who had given Purrington a tough time out on the right all game, scored an unstoppable equalizer. From then on it was whether we could leave with a point as Donny peppered our goal but Phillips was equal to everything and Addicks gave their thanks to him at the end as he climbed into the away end.
Before that of course was the big talking point. There couldn’t have been more than a few seconds left, but Donny got the ball in the net but a late flag saved our bacon. From our viewpoint we had no way of telling, but what I do know is that it would have been heartbreaking to have left with nothing.
A point then, but we were excellent for large parts of the game, far superior to Donny in many ways, yet worryingly not really where it counts most, in front of goal.
Thanks to the fellow Addicks who made the journey. I don’t remember one quiet moment. Magnificent support.
Fellow Addicks at the Keepmoat: Doctor Kish;
Bow: “That was the least we deserved for today. I just said to them ‘Don’t be disappointed, you got a point, another game unbeaten’. They deserved at least that.”
Elsewhere: Well everyone else at the top won. And comfortably too. Luton beat Rochdale 2-0, Barnsley won 3-0 at Southend with 10-men, Sunderland beat Plymouth 2-0, Portsmouth thrashed Bradford 5-1 and Peterborough beat Wycombe 4-2.