Doncaster Rovers 1 Brighton 1: Saunders praises Rovers spirit

Rovers' boss Dean Saunders.

Rovers' boss Dean Saunders.

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Doncaster Rovers boss Dean Saunders saw his team hold Brighton to a 1-1 draw but thinks the hosts deserved to take all three points.

Saunders believed his side had played well and dominated most of the match.

He said: “They had one attack and scored in the first half and it was a terrible goal to concede from our point of view.

“But the lads showed a brilliant attitude to fight back and I thought we were the better team overall.

“I agree the pitch is not good but I thought we played great on it today.

“We may be bottom but we are still in there fighting with games in hand -but we need to score more goals.”

Carl Ikeme returned to Rovers for his second loan spell from Wolves following David Button’s return to Spurs.

Winger James Coppinger made his first start after four games out with a broken jaw and striker James Hayter was the other change from the side which drew against Peterborough. Simon Gillett and Kyle Bennett dropped to the bench.

Brighton were unchanged from the side which beat Swindon 3-0 in their last outing.

Captain Brian Stock went off injured in the early stages to be replaced by Gillett.

Rovers’ problems increased when Craig Mackail-Smith netted from close range after a scuffed attempt from Liam Bridcutt.

Rovers created a series of half chances in reply, a diving header from Giles Barnes flashing wide.

Doncaster continued to press after the break Barnes firing a free-kick into the wall from 22 yards for a corner.

Brighton continued to look dangerous on the break as they chased a play-off place.

El Hadji Djouff equalised from the penalty spot in the 80th minute after Joe Mattock had handled his cross following a short corner.

Rovers substitute Fabien Robert fired over the bar in the 90th minute and the game ended 1-1.

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