Dismal. Dire. Yep, Doncaster are at home. Whatever it is that’s enabled Rovers to become invincible on the road – winning four games from four – yet again fizzled and dissolved away when it came into contact with the kryptonite soaked pitch of the Keepmoat.
Three minutes is all it took Oldham to take the lead. A free-kick whipped in from the left, a number of bodies in the box, and Jonson Clarke-Harris turned the ball beyond Jed Steer. Pressed by the visitors Rovers never got going and found touch more than they found feet.
Three chances in succession before the break rattled advertising hoardings increasingly nearer to Paul Rachubka’s goal; Nathan Tyson skewing the best one wide, before Nathan Furman and Kyle Bennett also came close, but that was as good as it got.
Ten minutes into the second half and a triple substitution to try and resuscitate the Rovers midfield and attack was deadened within a minute as Oldham were awarded a dubious penalty. Luke McCullough deemed to have taken man not ball by the referee; Jonathan Forte from the spot; 2-0.
The comeback was never on. Rachubka never had to put down his book. Rovers huffed and puffed and repeatedly fell up short as Oldham saw time out with a mix of admirable defence, promising counter-attack, and hurling themselves to the turf screaming like a cat whose paw you’ve just trodden on. For the visitors; a deserved win. For the home side; let us never speak of this again.