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Page last updated at 20:44 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 21:44 UK

Southend 0-0 Doncaster

Southend's James Walker and Paul Green of Doncaster battle for possession
Clear-cut chances were few and far between at Roots Hall

Paul Hefferman's late red card spoiled Doncaster's trip to Roots Hall after they held Southend in the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final.

Southend had the better of the first half, with Lee Barnard impressing up front and Simon Francis going close.

Rovers' Simon Mills had a fine chance but misjudged a close-range header.

Jason Price had several opportunities for the visitors after the break before Hefferman was deservedly sent off for a mindless headbutt on Peter Clarke.

Hefferman lost his temper after an innocuous tangle with the centre-back with just three minutes left, and attempted a headbutt in full view of the watching referee.

Both teams approached the match with total commitment but decent chances were difficult to come by.

In the first half, Southend's James Walker saw a solid attempt blocked by Mills, while Francis' well-controlled shot at the far post drew a sharp save from Rovers goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.

Hefferman and Price had chances to edge Doncaster ahead in the second half but neither side could force the breakthrough.

The two sides will meet again on Friday 16 May.

  • Southend boss Steve Tilson:
    "Obviously being at home we would have liked to have got the advantage but we're still in the tie.

    "I think they might think they've already won it. We've had a good away record recently and we're still positive we can get a result.

    "They're one of the best sides in the league but I believe in my players."

  • Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll:
    "They were two good teams that cancelled each other out.

    "We got on top in the second half but Southend came storming back and I think it will be tight in the second leg.

    "We were disciplined and organised, played when we had the opportunity to but I would have liked to create a few more goalscoring chances."

    Southend: Flahavan, Francis, Clarke, Barrett, Mulgrew, Black (Revell 62), Bailey, McCormack, Gower, Walker, Barnard.
    Subs Not Used: Collis, MacDonald, Robson-Kanu, Moussa.

    Doncaster: Sullivan, O'Connor, Hird, Mills, Gareth Roberts, Guy (Hayter 80), Green, Stock, Coppinger (Taylor 90), Heffernan, Price (McCammon 88).
    Subs Not Used: Lee, Woods.

    Sent Off: Heffernan (87).

    Att: 9,109

    Ref: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire).

    see also
    Who will make play-off finals?
    08 May 08 |  Football

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