ON-THE-WHISTLE REPORT: DONCASTER 0, PETERBOROUGH UNITED 0: A dour draw, but Posh stay top

Posh substitute Idris Kanu is tackled by Joe Wright of Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh substitute Idris Kanu is tackled by Joe Wright of Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United remain top of League One after a dour goal-less draw at Doncaster today (September 2).

There would be no record-breaking fifth win a row to start a football League campaign, but this was a hard-earned and ultimately welcome point as Posh showed they have defensive resilience to cover for any dip in quality.#

Posh wing-back Gwion Edwards battles with Matty Blair of Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Posh wing-back Gwion Edwards battles with Matty Blair of Doncaster. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Both sides cancelled each other out by playing similar formations with chances very few and far between.

Marcus Maddison struck the crossbar for Posh with a cracking effort midway through the first-half, and 10 minutes after John Marquis failed to capitalise on an error from Posh skipper Jack Baldwin. That drew the only save of note from Posh ‘keeper Jonathan Bond.

Doncaster matched up Posh’s 3-4-1-2 formation and deployed wing-backs Matty Blair and Tommy Rowe, the former Posh skipper, high up the pitch in a bid to keep visiting widemen Gwion Edwards and Leo Da Silva Lopes quiet.

Blair’s partnership with James Coppinger was an early threat, but their crossing accuracy was as poor as Anthony Grant’s covering work was outstanding and it took a Posh error to hand the home side their best scoring opportunity of the first period.

Former Posh skipper Tommy Rowe holds off current Posh player Leo Da Silva Lopes. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Former Posh skipper Tommy Rowe holds off current Posh player Leo Da Silva Lopes. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Baldwin appeared to take his eye off the ball as Ryan Tafazolli played a simple square pass in the 10th minute. Control was lost and Marquis pounced, only to hit a weak shot that Jonathan Bond tipped round a post.

Otherwise Doncaster were restricted to shots from outside the area before Posh started to grow in confidence, Maddison’s crossbar-shaker would have been out of context with a scrappy game.

Edwards tested Doncaster ‘keeper Ian Lawlor with a piledriver and Jack Marriott wriggled into the area to force a low save before the half came to a close.

The second-half soon became a scrappy affair after Alfie May had failed to take advantage of a Steven Taylor error by dithering when having a clear run of goal enabling Baldwin to race back and tackle.

Baldwin recovered superbly from his early mistake to play strongly, making one terrific clearance from under his own bar and numerous wonderfully-timed tackles.

Posh struggled to get any forward momentum going and didn’t test Lawlor until the 82nd minute when Taylor powered a header from a Maddison corner straight at him.

Posh: Jonathan Bond, Steven Taylor, Jack Baldwin, Ryan Tafazolli, Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Andrew Hughes, 71 mins), Gwion Edwards, Michael Doughty, Anthony Grant, Marcus Maddison, Junior Morias (sub Idris Kanu, 62 mins), Jack Marriott.

Unused substitutes: Jermaine Anderson, Danny Lloyd, Conor O’Malley, Chris Forrester, Liam Shephard.

Doncaster: Ian Lawlor, Nial Mason (sub Jordan Houghton, 61 mins), Joe Wright, Andy Butler, Tyler Garratt, Matty Blair, Ben Whiteman, Tommy Rowe, James Coppinger (sub Liam Mandeville, 61 mins), John Marquis, Alfie May (sub Williams, 71 mins).

Unused substitutes: Marko Marosi, Craig Alcock, Harry Toffolo, Issam Ben Khemis.

Goals: None.

Cautions: Posh - Grant (foul), Taylor (foul), Edwards (foul).

Doncaster - Mason (foul), Marquis (foul).

Referee: Graham Salisbury 6

Attendance: 8,677 (1,696 Posh).