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Late equaliser denies Fleet vital points

Gravesend & N 2 Doncaster Rovers 2

GRAVESEND & Northfleet were denied a valuable victory in their bid to move away from the relegation zone in the Conference as they conceded a late equaliser to draw at home to Doncaster Rovers last night.

Rovers went ahead on 26 minutes when Justin Paterson found the corner of the net with a left foot volley from the edge of the box.

The strike appeared to wake Gravesend up as they pressed forward in search of an equaliser and they came close on 31 minutes when Jimmy Strouts met Liam Hatch's cross with a header six yards out, but Rovers keeper Andy Warrington tipped it over the bar.

Strouts got his reward moments later when the midfielder's overhead kick from 12 yards out beat the outstretched dive of Warrington.

Gravesend striker Liam Hatch and Doncaster's Gareth Owen both went close to finding the back of the net before Tostao Kwashi made it 2-1 to the hosts just before the break - the winger slotting home after a mix-up allowed him a free run on goal.

The second half followed a similar pattern as the first period with chances scarce in the opening moments but, as the game wore on, Gravesend grew in confidence.

However, despite creating a number of opportunities, Strouts, Che Stadhart and Liam Hatch couldn't find the crucial third goal. And Doncaster made them pay, when Paul Barnes netted an equaliser from close-range with just two minutes remaining.

Fleet boss Andy Ford said: “I wasn't pleased with the result but the performance was very good. I'm disappointed we didn't take our chances because we could have won 4-1."

Gravesend & Northfleet: Wilkerson, Cole, Sturgess, Lee, Watts, McKimm, Strouts, Kwashi (Parker 82), Jackson, Hatch, Stadhart.

Bookings: Kwashi, Stadhart, Sturgess.

Attendance: 1,326

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