Doncaster Rovers 0 Scunthorpe United 1: Derby day disappointment for out-of-form Doncaster
A Doncaster Rovers side lacking confidence and conviction slid to defeat against well organised Scunthorpe United.
Lee Novak headed in a 10th minute corner to give the Iron a third successive win in the M180 derby.
Rovers completely flattered to deceive during a poor first half performance.
They rallied after the break but the closest they came to scoring was when John Marquis hit the post from inside the box.
Defeat leaves Doncaster without a win in six league matches and 19th in the table. More worrying is the rate at which confidence appears to have drained out of the team and the number of players not performing anywhere near their best.
The visitors imposed themselves more during the opening exchanges but it was Rovers who initially went closest to breaking the deadlock when, after five minutes, Joe Wright saw his goalbound header from a James Coppinger corner blocked by Novak.
Five minutes later Novak made his presence felt in the other box when he expertly headed home Josh Morris's corner from the left.
It proved to the Iron's only shot on target of the first half, but the visitors were well organised, had done the basics better than Doncaster and comfortably snuffed out the home side's very limited attacking threat.
Rovers looked a different team following the re-start and a good spell of pressure saw Marquis strike a post before Andy Williams wastefully blazed over the bar following a slide-rule pass from Tommy Rowe.
Scunthorpe set about weathering the storm and playing on the counter. Matty Blair curled an effort over and Rowe saw a powerful shot deflected over but the well-drilled visitors were not over-stretched by a Rovers team clearly lacking in confidence.
There was a late rally from the hosts, but it was the Iron who came closest to doubling their lead during the final passages of play as Ian Lawlor kept out Morris's free kick and Murray Wallace hit the bar from close range after Lawlor flapped at a delivery from the left.
Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Wright, Butler, Mason, Whiteman, Kongolo, Rowe, Coppinger, Williams (May 58), Marquis (Mandeville 75). Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Garratt, Toffolo, Ben Khemis.
Scunthorpe: Gilks, Clarke, Wallace, McArdle, Townsend, Bishop, Ojo (Burgess 90), Holmes (Mantom 69), Morris, Novak, Madden (Hopper 75). Subs not used: Watson, van Veen, Adelakun, Sutton.
Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 9,227 (1,898)