Not wanting to repeat Saturday’s disappointment, Rovers were bright and purposeful from the off against a physical but ultimately lacklustre Cambridge. However, when John Marquis went down easily on eight minutes for a penalty he then failed to convert it seemed the footballing Gods still intent on having fun at Rovers’ expense.
Shaun Derry’s last visit the Keepmoat was defined by some gold-standard timewasting, and while there was precious little urgency from Cambridge, the raised arms and flying tackles felt very familiar, as did the subsequent procession of wasted Rovers’ free kicks.
Rovers upped the tempo after the break, Andy Williams brilliantly fooling the otherwise solid Cambridge defence for Marquis to have two shots cleared off the line, before the outstanding Will Norris saved a third effort from MOTM James Coppinger.
A ten-minute delay after the referee’s assistant was taken ill did nothing to slow Rovers’ momentum, the impressive Matty Blair – much more comfortable in midfield – causing all sorts of problems before delivering a perfect far post cross for Marquis to head home.
If Rovers’ early penalty had been dubious, balance was restored on 84 minutes when Tommy Rowe was unceremoniously hauled over in the box only for the referee to dismiss appeals. Nonetheless, Doncaster continued to chase a second as 13 minutes injury time approached.
Ultimately Rovers had to settle for the single goal, although more suicidal defending almost proved costly. Only the goal-line heroics of Andy Butler ensured the reds went home with the three points they deserved.
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