Port Vale arrived at the Keepmoat looking to see if they could do it on a cold Tuesday night in Doncaster. Within five minutes Rovers found out they could.
Despite new boy Lynden Gooch testing Jak Alnwick in the Vale goal after four minutes, 30 seconds later Rovers were behind. As Vale attempted to get through the Rovers back five, Mitchell Lund’s poor ball control led to the ball being put on a plate for AJ Leitch-Smith to dink it over Thorsten Stuckmann and give the visitors the lead.
Rovers tried to force an equaliser, but to no avail, with Richard Chaplow and Andy Williams both being denied from close range.
The first half ended with Vale looking the more likely to score, Louis Dodds and Matthew Kennedy both being denied by the BFG, who came off injured at half time after an awkward fall.
Twenty minutes into the second half Vale finally get their second goal they’d threatened. More pathetic defending from Rovers saw Leitch-Smith’s persistence pay off as the ball bounced about and eventually fell kindly for him to fire home into the corner.
After that, it was a non-event, not even a hint of a Gillingham or a Crewe style fight back, and even the goal Cedric Evina scored with two minutes to play couldn’t spark a revival; a cross bouncing off a Vale defender and looping over Alnwick.
Disappointing, but the season wouldn’t be complete without Port Vale doing the double, would it?