My grandmother, a Lancastrian, nursed a lifelong disdain for Wigan and its inhabitants. I can’t say I share this, because Wigan Athletic have been unwontedly generous to Rovers; they haven’t beaten Doncaster for 20 years and haven’t won here for 28.
After a desultory 40 minutes, Rovers fell behind to a poor goal. Yanic Wildschut broke from his own half. He was forced wide but floated over a cross to an unmarked Will Grigg, whose looping header beat a stationary Remi Matthews.
However, within ten minutes of the resumption, Rovers were ahead. After Craig Alcock’s effort was headed off the line, James Coppinger’s far post corner was powered home by Andy Butler. Then Butler did it again, latching onto Gary McSheffrey’s corner to turn in a low shot which Jussi Jaaskelainen couldn’t keep out.
Though forced back Rovers managed to repel the attacks, Alcock and Butler marshalling the defence superbly and Luke McCullough standing tall in the defensive midfield role he seems born for.
With four minutes left a smart breakaway sent the tireless McSheffrey clear only to be upended by David Perkins just inside the area, at the cost of a penalty and red card for Wigan and a cut head for McSheffrey. His need for treatment meant Andy Williams was handed the ball for the spot kick and he struck it firmly past Jaaskelainen. Wigan were left to curse their bogey side and Rovers could reflect on Malcolm Forbes’s words: ‘victory is sweetest when you have known defeat.’
by John Coyle