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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:10 GMT
Doncaster 1-2 Northwich

Doncaster's stuttering promotion hopes suffered another setback as they squandered a lead to lose at Belle Vue.

Doncaster sought an early goal but Northwich went closest in the opening exchanges when Jake Sedgemore sent a 30-yard shot just wide.

Doncaster continued to press but were thwarted by the Northwich defence until their much-travelled striker Paul Barnes broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute.

Barnes met Andy Watson's pass and swept the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Northwich started the second half brightly and it was the Doncaster defence's turn to show their mettle.

Mark Devlin hit a fierce shot just over the Doncaster crossbar before Gregg Blundell was just wide with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

In between, Mark Albrighton squandered a good chance when he headed wide from six yards.

Northwich scored the equaliser they deserved after 59 minutes when Devlin was fouled in the penalty area by Dean Barrick, and David McNiven tucked away the penalty.

Worse was to come for the home side in the 65th minute when Northwich took the lead, Blundell meeting a Steve Garvey free-kick to sweep the ball home.

Doncaster: Warrington, Marples, Foster, Ryan, Barrick, Paterson, Albrighton, Ravenhill, Watson, Barnes, Jackson. Subs: Nelson, Morley, Owen, Gill, Whitman.

Northwich: Kelly, Sedgemore, Davis, Ingram, Royle, Garvey, Norris, Devlin, Blundell, McNiven, Allan. Subs: Connett, Quinn, Tether, Griggs, Taylor.

Referee: D Foster (Newcastle)

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