Last-gasp lev­eller makes it mis­ery for boss Fer­gu­son

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Dunlavy

KI­EF­FER Moore scored with the fi­nal kick of the game to sal­vage a point for Rother­ham – and spare the blushes of his skip­per!

Richard Wood en­dured a der­by­day dis­as­ter, miss­ing an open goal from six yards be­fore lanc­ing an un­stop­pable shot past his own goal­keeper.

But just when it ap­peared the Millers de­fender would steal some un­wanted head­lines, Moore cap­i­talised on a fran­tic goal­mouth scram­ble to dis­patch his 13th – and most dra­matic – goal of the sea­son.

De­nied his first back-to-back wins of the sea­son, Donny boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son was up­set that the equaliser came in the sixth of a stip­u­lated five ex­tra min­utes. So much for Fergie time.

“It’s very raw, a big body blow,” said Fer­gu­son, whose fa­mous fa­ther reg­u­larly ben­e­fit­ted from a few ex­tra sec­onds at the death.

“All the lads are gut­ted down there. It feels like a de­feat and it’s very dif­fi­cult to say any­thing that

will lift my play­ers af­ter that.

“The only ex­pla­na­tion the ref­eree will have for the ex­tra time is that (Tommy) Rowe went down in­jured but it wasn’t for as long as the game went on. It’s frus­trat­ing but what can you do?”

Donny have won just two home league games all sea­son and their un­cer­tainty at the Keep­moat was again ap­par­ent.

Rarely in the first half did Fer­gu­son’s men find any kind of flu­ency or rhythm, their only real open­ing a de­bat­able penalty claim from the waspish John Mar­quis.

The striker was felled by Semi Ajayi. Re­plays, though, showed he en­gi­neered the con­tact by step­ping across the de­fender a la Jamie Vardy. There­after, Don­caster’s top scorer cut a frus­trated fig­ure as ser­vice from wide ar­rived too late, too soon or, in most cases, not at all.

Rother­ham were marginally more flu­ent and should have led when Ryan Wil­liams’ pin­point de­liv­ery was headed against the cross­bar by Ajayi.

With Rovers keeper Ian Lawlor grounded, Wood sim­ply needed to nod the re­bound vaguely goal­ward. Some­how, he also found the bar, then watched the ball drop straight to the grate­ful Lawlor.

Was it over the line? Wood wheeled in cel­e­bra­tion, ref­eree Gra­ham Scott was non­plussed and, with re­plays in­con­clu­sive, prob­a­bly cor­rect.

“Woody says that will go on a bloop­ers DVD for Christ­mas,” said Millers boss Paul Warne. “He should have scored. Then he kindly do­nated a goal to them!”

And how. With Don­caster dom­i­nat­ing the sec­ond half, Rod­ney Kon­golo crossed from the right.

Wood, wary of the lurk­ing Mar­quis, at­tempted to clear but in­stead prod­ded be­yond Richard O’Donnell.

The next 30 min­utes were a mas­ter­class in game-man­age­ment from the home side, whose abil­ity to cut off sup­ply lines and waste time was – gen­uinely – praised by Warne.

Bar a Jon­son Clarke-Har­ris snap­shot that hit the post, chances to equalise were non-ex­is­tent but then Mar­quis failed to clear, sub David Ball tricked his way into the Don­caster box, and when his shot was saved, Moore scram­bled a scruffy lev­eller over the line.

“It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing,” added Warne, who in­spired his troops with a pre-match les­son on the rel­e­vance of Ar­mistice Day.

“I kept think­ing the ref was go­ing to blow up. Thank­fully, he didn’t. Then, when we scored, I didn’t want it to end. Now my son and daugh­ter can go to school in Donny and be proud of their dad, not think he’s a let-down!”

Fer­gu­son, mean­while, re­fused to be down­beat.

“No­body can have any com­plaints about the desire, the de­ter­mi­na­tion,” he said.

PIC­TURES: PSI/Si­mon Davies

MR POP­U­LAR: Ki­ef­fer Moore is mobbed af­ter notch­ing his last­gasp equaliser for Rother­ham

WHOOPS: Richard Wood, out of shot, scores own goal

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