DONCASTER ROVERS’ relegation worries increased with a second successive home defeat – Bolton Wanderers withstanding a second-half onslaught to edge a pulsating clash at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The visitors flew out of the blocks and led 2-0 after just 15 minutes thanks to goals from Neil Danns and Joe Mason, but Doncaster pulled one back almost immediately through David Cotterill’s stunning free-kick.
The home side then dominated the second half and will feel they deserved at least a point for their efforts, but they could not find a way past the outstanding Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal.
A low right-wing cross from Alan Hutton was stepped over by a couple of players and Danns charged in to hammer home a superb shot just inside the post from the edge of the box.
Paul Keegan had a close-range header saved following a corner as Rovers tried to hit back before Bolton stretched their lead when Mason fired home from a tight angle.
Doncaster looked dazed but Cotterill fired them back in the match with a brilliant 30-yard free-kick that just dipped under the crossbar less than three minutes later.
Rovers’ goalkeeper Sam Johnstone did well to tip a scorching 25-yarder from Lukas Jutkiewicz over the bar and then saved at full stretch from Zat Knight from the resulting corner.
Richie Wellens was then denied an equaliser by a splendid reflex save from Bogdan at the other end.
Rovers piled on the pressure after the break with Billy Sharp heading just wide, while Husband should have had a penalty after being brought down by Medo in the 60th minute, but the appeals were waived aside.
In the 80th minute when Bogdan made another fine save from Cotterill.
The home side were out of luck again right at the death when Chris Brown just failed to convert with a diving header.
Doncaster Rovers: Johnstone, Quinn, Neill (Tamas 65), Meite, Husband, Coppinger, Keegan, Wellens (Furman 34), Cotterill, Brown, Sharp. Unused substitutes: Duffy, Maxted, De Val Fernandez, Robinson, Stevens.
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Hutton, Knight, Wheater, Ream, Spearing, Medo, Lee (Beckford 88), Danns, Jutkiewicz, Mason (Trotter 67). Unused substitutes: Mills, Hall, Moritz, Baptiste, Lonergan.
Referee: G Sutton (Lincolnshire).