Sun in the sky, beer in the belly, feet on a terrace. This had all the makings of a great football away day. It’s just a shame, no-one told Doncaster Rovers.
Following a string of impressive early season performances; Darren Ferguson’s side reigned expectations back to ground level by offering up a tediously forgettable ninety minutes.
In attack Rovers never truly got going; they took too long to get shots away when chances were fleeting, or rushed them when they had time. Alfie May was tireless, John Marquis a nuisance – the traits were there, but the opportunities never really blossomed. A Danny Andrew free-kick almost catching George Long off guard was as good as it ever got.
Wimbledon somehow offered even less to crow about; that is until the 58th minute when, with the first bit of quality all afternoon, Kwesi Appiah hooked the ball over his shoulder to leave Andy Butler chasing shadows, and from the resulting space, calmly slotted beyond Ian Lawlor.
Within two minutes it was 2-0; Andy Barcham breaking free from the lacklustre challenges of Tommy Rowe and Ben Whiteman to fire a low shot in off Lawlor’s post. That was the game won, with half an hour still to go – any faint hope of a comeback evaporating when Matty Blair was forced off injured, meaning Rovers, with three subs made, would see out the defeat with ten men.
At full-time Ferguson apologised to the away support for Rovers’ performance. It was that kind of afternoon.
by Glen Wilson