Like Boxing Day Rovers started brightly against Rochdale; but thankfully that was where the similarities with Monday ended, as by 10 minutes Doncaster were already two goals ahead.
First to strike was Charlie Seaman with a low deflected strike from the edge of the box. The second goal was much more emphatic; the ball laid off to Ben Close who curled into the corner from 22 yards.
However, being two up at such an early stage inflicted something of a tactical paralysis on Rovers; unsure whether to kick on or sit back they let Rochdale back into the game and within minutes it was 2-2. Devante Rodney found the bottom corner via a deflection. And then Cameron John’s low cross forced Ro-Shaun Williams to do something. Unfortunately that something was a slice past Jonathan Mitchell.
By half-time Rovers were back ahead. Kyle Hurst’s neat footwork drawing a free-kick, which Harrison Biggins brilliantly curled in from 30 yards.
With Rochdale’s early fightback having shaken Rovers’ confidence to kick on, 3-2 was how it stayed, until 75 minutes when, out of nothing, Rochdale equalised; Tyrese Sinclair’s looping header from Liam Kelly’s cross.
Throughout the match Tom Anderson had been booed by a section of the home support for his reaction to crowd criticism at Tranmere. So with 10 minutes to go, enter an inevitable narrative; a cross from the left falling at the big man’s feet and he duly slotted home the winner to signal morally complex celebrations in the South Stand.
by Glen Wilson