DONCASTER ROVERS claimed a place in tomorrow’s FA Cup second round draw after the League One club held off a spirited fightback by Bradford Park Avenue.
The League One promotion chasers were two goals ahead through Martin Woods and Iain Hume by half-time and seemed to be cruising through to the next stage.
However, a stunning curled effort by Richard Marshall on 56 minutes brought Bradford right back into the game.
For the next 20 minutes, the Conference North side then asked serious questions of Rovers before Chris Brown settled the tie with a trademark header.
Despite losing, Avenue emerged with huge credit and deservedly left the field to a warm ovation from the home fans.
In the first half, they had passed the ball round neatly without ever really threatening Gary Woods’ goal.
At the other end, Rovers were much more clinical and they went ahead on 27 minutes courtesy of a neat move that ended with Paul Keegan stepping over the ball and Woods sweeping home from the edge of the area.
A second goal arrived nine minutes later when Billy Paynter showed excellent skill and awareness to find Hume, who couldn’t miss from a yard out.
After the break, though, Bradford were much more positive as Marshall brought a flying save from Woods before curling an unstoppable 20-yard shot beyond the Rovers’ goalkeeper.
That raised hopes of an upset only for Brown to settle the nerves of the 4,062 crowd by heading Paul Keegan’s corner into the net to send Rovers through.
Rovers boss Dean Saunders said: “We were panicking a little when they came back into it but we stuck at it and got the third goal.”