Rob Jones’s debut home outing as Rovers manager brought a fresh air of optimism to the Keepmoat; the contest against fellow caretaker David Dunn’s Oldham certainly seeming winnable given their 5-1 drubbing the week before.
This optimism was muted only four minutes in. Andy Williams was forced off with a broken nose following an innocuous collision, giving Dany N’Guessan the chance to shine, which he duly did with a well-earned man of the match performance.
Oldham did most of the pressing in a slow and scrappy opening 20 minutes, but after a sustained period of pressure, the ever-reliable Andy Butler headed in at the back post from a Cameron Stewart free-kick.
The lead was short lived; Jonathan Burn converting Oldham’s equaliser from a corner, despite James Coppinger appearing to clear off the line. The lack of goal-line technology left it to the linesman to award, although later replays proved inconclusive.
From the restart Rovers pushed forwards, and an immaculate free kick from Stewart was brilliantly tipped against the post; N’Guessan fluffed the rebound then Oscar Goburn headed against the bar in a frantic scramble.
This proved an omen for the second half which became mostly one-way traffic as Rovers pressed and pressed without breaking through. Oldham desperately clung on for the draw, offering little but the occasional toothless counter attack, yet despite all the chances created, a Rovers winner ultimately proved elusive.
In spite of this, a much improved display from Rovers, unlucky not to come away with the win.