Grant McCann left frustrated as Doncaster face FA Cup replay with Accrington

By Sports Desk November 04, 2023

Grant McCann lamented his Doncaster side “having to do things the hard way” in the FA Cup after failing to make a dominant first half count in their 2-2 draw with Accrington Stanley.

Rovers led early through a Kelvin Mellor own goal but saw chances to extend their advantage go begging before Accrington rallied in the second half.

Shaun Whalley levelled for the visitors before Harrison Biggins’ piledrive put Doncaster back in front, only for Stanley to secure a replay at the Wham Stadium through Seamus Conneely’s equaliser.

“I’m a disappointed not to win the game given how good we were in the first half,” McCann said.

“You have to take your chances to win games and ultimately we didn’t do that in the first half.

“I thought we were excellent and should have been out of sight by four or five before half-time. That’s not an exaggeration because their keeper has made some world-class saves from Luke Molyneux and Mo Faal. He’s kept Accrington in the FA Cup.

“This team is giving us everything. We’ve gone toe to toe with one of the best teams in League Two, if not being better than them.

“We’re going to have to go and do it the hard way, go to Accrington and get ourselves into the next round. But the most important thing is that we’re in the hat. We’ll see what the draw gives us and go to Accrington and try to get the result.”

Accrington boss John Coleman praised the performance of goalkeeper Jon McCracken for a string of brilliant saves that kept Stanley in the contest.

McCracken, on an emergency loan from Norwich, twice denied Luke Molyneux from point-blank range before batting away a Mo Faal shot to help Accrington stay alive.

“They were unbelievable saves to keep us in the game and he made another brilliant one in the second half,” Coleman said.

“You need that from your goalkeeper and you need your defenders to make good blocks. You need people to step up and he did that to keep us in the game.

“I want to talk about the fans too, because they stayed with us despite witnessing the worst first-half performance we’ve put in for a long time.

“That’s taking nothing away from Doncaster because they were good, but everything we practised and everything we spoke about went out of the window.

“The second half was very different and we were a lot better. We played like the home team and took the game to them.

“I think we just about deserved to get a draw in the end from being comprehensively outplayed in the first half.”

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