STOP­PER HOLY IS THE GILLS’ SAVIOUR

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Hale

DON­CASTER Rovers boss Dar­ren Ferguson ad­mit­ted that it was a case of two points dropped as his side were held to a goal­less draw by Gillingham.

The hosts hit the wood­work and forced a num­ber of saves from man-of-the-match Thomas Holy in the Gillingham goal.

But they couldn’t find the cru­cial break­through and it left a sour taste in Ferguson’s mouth.

“It’s a game we should’ve won,” said Ferguson. “For the ma­jor­ity of it, I was very pleased with the per­for­mance.

“It is two points dropped but a lot of the stuff I wanted, we did very well. It wasn’t a case that we didn’t create chances.

“The most im­por­tant thing is that we didn’t get the re­sult. We just didn’t get the rub of the green and their keeper has made three fan­tas­tic saves.

“The Gillingham play­ers are all over­joyed with get­ting a point. We dom­i­nated for large pe­ri­ods. it was a game very sim­i­lar to last sea­son but we just couldn’t get the goals.”

Don­caster nearly took the lead in­side the open­ing three min­utes but Luke O’Neill got back to clear Liam Man­dev­ille’s dinked ef­fort off the line.

It took un­til mid­way through the first half for Rovers’ sec­ond chance de­spite their dom­i­nance as Matty Blair was de­nied by Holy af­ter be­ing played be­hind the Gills de­fence by James Cop­pinger.

At the other end, Con­nor Ogilvie’s vol­ley squirmed un­der Ian Lawlor and onto the post be­fore Gabriel Zakuani’s close-range header was bril­liantly stopped by the Rovers keeper from the re­sult­ing corner.

Danny An­drew re­sponded with a 25-yard piledriver which was well­stopped by Holy be­fore the Gills goalie pulled off an­other out­stand­ing save to deny Andy But­ler’s early sec­ond­half header.

John Mar­quis was the next to have a go af­ter nut­meg­ging his man on the left wing, but his curl­ing ef­fort fell wide of the mark be­fore the same man was stopped from six yards out.

Ben White­man went even closer to the open­ing goal but his 30-yard half-vol­ley can­noned off the cross­bar as Don­caster were forced to set­tle for a point.

Gills boss Ady Pen­nock heaped praise on keeper Holy af­ter pick­ing up a point on open­ing day.

“I’m not go­ing to say he’s [Holy] not go­ing to make mis­takes be­cause he’s hu­man and peo­ple make mis­takes,” said Pen­nock. “But why not give him a pat on the back be­cause he was out­stand­ing.

“Hope­fully, that will give him a lot of con­fi­dence.

“Let’s hope he gets a lot of praise from the peo­ple who are knock­ing him.

“The new play­ers have come into the de­fence and I thought they were out­stand­ing.

“I love clean sheets. We’ve come to a tough place but we re­ally stood our own and we had chances as well. Their keeper made a few fan­tas­tic saves.”

PIC­TURES: PSI/Ian Lyall

BAT­TLE­FIELD: Don­caster for­ward John Mar­quis, cen­tre, finds him­self crowded by Gillingham’s Con­nor Ogilvie and Billy Bing­ham

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