Not many goalless draws are interesting but Huddersfield Town and Doncaster Rovers played out an entertaining Yorkshire derby at the John Smith’s Stadium.
It was a tale of the two goalkeepers with both Alex Smithies and Ross Turnbull pulling off some impressive saves to deny the opposition.
Both sides had a host of chances but both failed to find the net, the nearest to scoring was Town defender Joel Lynch who had a shot that rolled across the crossbar.
Martin Paterson returned to the starting line up after losing his place in Town’s last match to Sean Scannell whilst Calum Woods made his first start of the season. Paterson and Oliver Norwood both started after playing for Northern Ireland in midweek.
New signing Jazz Richards wasn’t in the match day squad due to a boob from FIFA which meant Richards hadn’t been given international clearance for his loan move from Swansea City.
Former Town striker Theo Robinson tried a spectacular long range effort that flew harmlessly wide within 15 seconds of the kick off but it showed the intent from Rovers that they certainly aren’t no pushovers in the Championship.
With 5 minutes gone David Cotterill drilled a shot from 20 yards out straight at Smithies and the winger took advantage of some poor defending to cross allowing Chris Brown a header at the far post that was denied by a superb one-handed save from Alex Smithies.
Donny did have the ball in the net moments later but Brown’s goal was disallowed as the referee judged Robinson to have fouled Smithies in the build up to the goal.
The referee Paul Tierney and his assistants had an awful game giving some really bizarre decisions that baffled both sides and didn’t endear himself to the Town faithful to say the least.
Rovers set-pieces were causing problems and James Vaughan was on hand to deny Robinson’s effort on goal after Brown had a shot blocked by Peter Clarke.
Vaughan had a relatively quiet first half but Ross Turnbull was on hand when the striker had a chance on 24 minutes. Adam Clayton’s pass freed the striker but his curling shot was smartly parried away by the former Chelsea goalkeeper.
Jonathan Hogg and Paterson linked up well to provide Vaughan but the striker was denied an effort on goal in a goalmouth scramble.
The away side nearly sneaked into the lead minutes before the break. Town were briefly down to 10 men due to a cut to Anthony Gerrard’s head and Cotterill stole in at the far post to hit a volley that was well blocked by Joel Lynch.
Jon Stead replaced Paterson at the break and it seemed to give Town a boost in the attacking threat but Doncaster continued to threaten.
Rovers midfielder Paul Keegan fired wide and Smithies took a knock denying Robinson at his feet after the striker had cut inside Clarke.
Sean Scannell was now also brought off the bench but it was Stead who created a clear cut chance that Hogg should have really put away. Stead received the ball down the left flank and cut inside from the byline to tee up Hogg who was in acres of space just inside the Rovers box but the midfielder fired over the bar.
On 68 minutes Scannell hit Doncaster on the break and fed in Vaughan but Turnbull was out quickly to deny the striker’s shot at goal with a superb save.
Scannell again provided Vaughan minutes later as the winger got the better of Reece Wabara down the left and continued to the byline but his pull back was totally missed by Vaughan and the chance went begging.
Stead had a curling effort saved by Turnbull and at the other end Brown headed wide from Cotterill’s cross.
It was going to be one of those days summed up when Lynch’s shot rolled across the crossbar and away to safety after good work by Stead and Clayton.
Next up for Town is the Tuesday night clash with Charlton Athletic at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Town: Smithies, Lynch, Gerrard, Clarke, Hammill (Ward 82), Hogg, Norwood (Scannell 56), Clayton, Woods, Paterson (Stead 46), Vaughan.
Subs not used: Bennett, Gobern, Carroll, Carr.
Doncaster: Turnbull, Wabara, Jones, Khumalo, Husband, Cotterill, Keegan, Wellens, Coppinger, Robinson, Brown.
Subs not used: Maxted, Quinn, McCullough, Furman, Duffy, Bennett, Paynter.