Notts County 0 Doncaster Rovers 2: Saunders impressed by his ruthless Rovers

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Doncaster Rovers are just four points behind leaders Tranmere Rovers after a “ruthless” performance at Gay Meadow.

Rovers won for a third straight game and extended their unbeaten run to five matches as they leapfrogged their hosts.

Manager Dean Saunders said: “I just thought we were ruthless today. It was a real professional team performance and the players worked hard.

“I don’t think Notts County really had a shot for Gary Woods to save and they’re a good team.

“We were quite comfortable, scored two good goals and Kyle Bennett missed an open goal so we could have had a few more.”

After a scrappy first half almost devoid of incident, veteran striker Lee Hughes, brought on for illness-hit central defender Dean Leacock, went close for County before Rovers took control with two goals in two minutes.

Moments after Bennett put his free header wide, David Syers crossed for Paul Keegan to plant his header past goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski in the 62nd minute. Half-time substitute Chris Brown then had time to turn in the area to fire in Doncaster’s second, his fifth goal of the season.

County made two quick changes to try to get back into the game, Judge replacing Zoko on 62 minutes and Nangel coming on for Boucaud two minutes later.

The Magpies then had to play the last 17 minutes with 10 men after left-back Jordan Stewart limped off with a hamstring injury as manager Keith Curle had already made his three substitutions.

This was a fourth home league defeat of the season for County, who have slipped to sixth.

There was a late injury scare for Rovers when Bennett limped off on 86 minutes but he returned shortly after.

Notts County: Bialkowski, Liddle, Leacock (L Hughes 46), Eastham, Stewart, Bishop, Boucaud (Nangel 65), J Hughes, Campbell-Ryce, Arquin, Zoko (Judge 62). Unused substitutes: Pilkington, Sheehan, Showunmi, Mahon.

Doncaster Rovers: G Woods, Quinn (Griffin 61), Rob Jones, Spurr, Husband, Bennett, Syers, Harper, Keegan, Paynter (Brown 46), Hume (Clingan 83). Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Blake, M Woods, Wakefield.

Referee: P Tierney (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Kyle Bennett.