Doncaster 1 Colchester 0: Resilience key for Rovers
Reslience is such an important hallmark of any successful team and this Doncaster Rovers side are showing plenty of it.
Fresh from battening down the hatches to hold on for three points at Portsmouth and nicking a stoppage time winner against Barnet, Darren Ferguson celebrated one year in charge at Rovers with a gritty, scarcely-deserved victory over a plucky Colchester United outfit.
The fact his team won without playing well will delight the Scot - because it is a sign of progress.
Rovers’ performance, the worst of the season according to Ferguson, lacked any sort of cohesion or fluency. Much of that was down to the visitors’ impressive pressing in midfield.
But Tommy Rowe’s neatly taken goal in first half stoppage time - a lovely chip after John Marquis expertly dummied James Coppinger’s cross - proved enough to secure a third straight League Two win and stretch Rovers’ unbeaten league run at the Keepmoat Stadium to ten games.
A corner has been turned.
Ferguson’s reign is tainted by that three-month spell at the turn of the year during which Rovers became a team that wilted at the first sign of trouble and inexplicably slid out of League One. As the confidence drained away, so did all the fight.
But if his revamped squad continue to show the same sort of resilience as they did on Saturday, when they had to stand firm in the face of plenty of Colchester pressure, the good times could return pretty quickly.
luck on rovers’ side
It is true what they say about things going your way when you are at the top. For Rovers really rode their luck to notch their eighth league win of the season.
Moments before Rowe’s decisive goal, Chris Porter wasted a glorious chance to give Colchester the lead when he headed Drey Wright’s cross straight at Marko Marosi.
Rovers also survived two very decent penalty shouts. When Harry Middleton appeared to tug down Sammie Szmodics late on there could have been few complaints had Seb Stockbridge pointed to the spot.
ONUS ON MARQUIS
With Andy Williams out for at least two months, the onus for goals is likely to fall upon the hard-working Marquis.
Marquis had a frustrating afternoon. His partnership with Liam Mandeville failed to really fire and he missed a gilt-edged chance to put the game to bed in the second half when he raced clear, rounded the goalkeeper but saw his rather weak shot cleared off the line by the impressive Richard Brindley.
For good measure, Marquis also had a very visible tiff with Matty Blair over a mis-placed pass and then got involved in a little scuffle with his marker on the final whistle. He’ll need to keep his cool in front of goal now Williams is sidelined.