Bristol Rovers 0-1 Doncaster Rovers: 250 word match report

Supporters at Champion Hill during Dulwich Hamlet's 4-2 play-off win over Enfield Town

After understandably bemoaning a lack of the rub of the green for most of the season, Doncaster were finally on the right end of two close calls as they battled to a priceless 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers.

Firstly referee Dean Whitestone adjudged that contact on Tommy Rowe was enough to warrant a penalty and Niall Mason impressively converted from the spot on 33 minutes.

Then an eagle-eyed assistant came to Doncaster’s rescue to save late heartbreak for a third successive weekend. Ian Lawlor, who made three fine saves all told, brilliantly parried a close range 87th minute free kick. The ball looked to have crept out before Ellis Harrison bundled in, but the assistant was some distance away and could have kept his flag down.

Donny deserved their win though after Jordan Houghton led an impressive first half performance from a football perspective, while skipper Andy Butler was at the heart of a stubborn rearguard after the break as the team had to play against the slope, wind and driving rain.

Darren Ferguson made two changes from the Oldham draw as Mathieu Baudry and Rodney Kongolo were recalled in a 3-5-2 formation.

The system suited Rovers, with John Marquis leading the line and the two Alfies, Beestin and May, covering every blade of grass and looking after the ball effectively.

Doncaster have now lost just twice in their last 12 games in all competitions, a welcome upturn in form ahead of two important home fixtures.

by Dan Nice

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