Losing two first-team centre-backs to injury would be a problem for any team. Losing another within the first twenty minutes of your next match spells disaster, and so it proved for Doncaster Rovers today.
With Darren Ferguson’s side one-nil up inside five minutes thanks to John Marquis, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be their day. They started strongly, were playing well and seemed in control of things.
However, an injury to Joe Wright led to him being substituted midway through the first half, and it proved to be the turning point. The visitors came back into the game and began to create chances, Ryan Sweeney equalising on 24 minutes after the makeshift home defence failed to clear after a corner.
Doncaster pulled themselves together and finished the half strongly, though the scores were still level at half-time.
After the break Bristol were on top, going close when Stuart Sinclair’s effort was blocked by Tommy Rowe. They did take the lead soon after, when Rory Gaffney finished from close range.
Doncaster should have equalised on the hour, but Matty Blair somehow blasted over after good work by Rowe, summing up a frustrating afternoon.
The hosts kept pushing, only to concede a third as Ellis Harrison, arguably lucky to still be on the pitch after numerous fouls, broke free on the counter and beat Ian Lawlor with a low shot.
Doncaster Rovers did their best, but it wasn’t enough; now the need for defensive reinforcements is desperate.