Refereeing ineptitude robs Notts at Doncaster


Firstly let me say that I am not one for berating match officials but this was the worst performance I have seen this season from a set of match officials and I am not only speaking about the disallowed goal scored by Haydn Hollis, bizarre decisions were happening all night against both sides.

This was an action packed game from two sets of fully committed players, Doncaster were riding high at the top of the league and Notts were battling to stay away from the foot of the table.

Kevin Nolan made 3 changes from the Hartlepool game with Alan Smith, Tahvon Campbell and Michael O’Connor replacing Shola Ameobi, Jonathan Forte and Elliott Hewitt.

Doncaster started very brightly and passed the ball around very precisely but Notts stuck to their game plan and put their bodies on the line and tackled tigerishly, Alfie May and James Coppinger were always dangerous for the hosts but it was Notts who shocked the home side when a corner from Mark Yates caused panic in the Doncaster defence and Richard Duffy bravely slid in to poke the ball home to give Notts the lead on 20 minutes, it seemed as Notts would be going into the break with a one goal lead until 2 minutes before the break when Matty Blair who had three defenders around him somehow managed to get the ball to James Coppinger who made no mistake from close range.

Straight after the break when you were expecting concentration to be paramount, Notts fell asleep and a fine cross from James Coppinger was headed home by Mathieu Baudry who rose much higher than Mark Bola to give the hosts the lead.

To Notts credit they kept battling away and Nolan made changes with Hewitt and Ameobi coming on for Yates and Alan Smith who had battled manfully against a bullish Doncaster back four.

Jonathan Forte replaced Rob Milson as Kevin Nolan went for another goal, Rob Duffy should have levelled matters when he met a superb free kick from Michael O’Connor but put his free header wide, but as Notts kept up the pressure it seemed only a matter of time before they levelled matters, it should have have happened as Haydn Hollis superbly out jumped the Doncaster defence to head home only for the linesman to raise his flag for an infringement in the box, this was nothing that you don’t see every game as forwards and defenders jostle for positions, more bizarre decisions followed by referee Nigel Miller, he and his assistants were having a very poor evening and the 733 superb travelling fans let them know that.

With 5 minutes of added time Notts were giving everything to gain an equaliser and with corner after corner to Notts Adam Collin came up to add his hight to the goal mouth melee but Doncaster somehow cleared down field and Doncaster substitute Andy Williams beat the covering Notts defenders to slide the ball into the empty net from 30 yards to make it 3-1.

This was a very good battling display from Notts against one of the best sides in this division, Kevin Nolan as got Notts believing in themselves and added more steel and bite so it will not belong before Notts get the breaks they deserve and move  further away to safety.