Doncaster boss Dean Saunders was left to rue a “ridiculous” penalty decision that cost his side dear as Rovers’ away struggles continued with a 3-0 reverse against Burnley at Turf Moor.
With the game still scoreless nine minutes before the interval, Sam Hird was harshly adjudged to have impeded Chris McCann in the area, and after Jay Rodriguez smashed home from the spot it was always going to be an uphill task for Doncaster.
A late Martin Paterson header and an unfortunate own goal from Hird sealed the win for the Clarets as Saunders’s men remain without a clean sheet on their travels this season.
And the Doncaster manager cut a frustrated figure after the game as his side’s lack of consistency continues to hinder them.
“That was not a 3-0 game. I thought we played well. The decision for the penalty is ridiculous but there were lots of other decisions that went against us,” he said.
“I’m not going to slaughter the referee because financially it doesn’t make sense – that is the only reason.
“You see it in any sport that has umpires and referees that sometimes things don’t go your way. In cricket, I have seen batsmen get out when they shouldn’t have but you have to react to that.
“These players have an ingrained self-confidence. We have to go to Watford and not let that scoreline affect us because it could have been the other way.
“Their goalkeeper made a good save at 1-0 but we had plenty of chances. This is a difficult place to come and they have some very sharp players, but to have that many chances and not score is disappointing.”
Burnley boss Eddie Howe drew particular pleasure from his side’s third clean sheet in their last five, which has lifted them to ninth in the npower Championship table.
“We were delighted with the win. I thought we got some good passing triangles and inter-play going,” he said.
“It was a very open game. Doncaster came here and both sides were going for the win which made it a real spectacle.
“It was a little too open in the second half and I don’t think we controlled the game but on another day we could have put the game to bed a lot earlier.
“I am pleased that Pato (Martin Paterson) got the goal because he has worked so hard whilst he has been out injured.
“It is soul-destroying to pick up the same injury again but he has been a real professional and a lot of the lads look up to him,” he said.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff (Easton 62), Edgar, Mee, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Stanislas (Bartley 69), Rodriguez, Paterson (Austin 85). Unused substitutes: Stewart, Vokes.
Doncaster Rovers: Gary Woods,O’Connor,Beye,Hird,Ilunga, Gillett (Bennett 79),Stock,Barnes (Hayter 86),Coppinger,Sharp, Diouf (Goulon 86). Unused substitutes: Friend,Chimbonda.
Referee: D Webb (County Durham).