DONCASTER ROVERS slipped to third in League Two following defeat at Plymouth Argyle - who replaced them at the top of the standings.
On an afternoon notable for the sending off of Rovers’ James Coppinger and a late penalty miss from Liam Madeville, Graham Carey gave the hosts a 33rd-minute lead with a sweet strike into the bottom left-hand corner, with Jake Jervis doubling the lead with a 63rd-minute penalty after a foul by Rovers’ defender Andy Butler.
Afterwards, Rovers’ boss Darren Ferguson admitted his team lacked the required ‘quality’ in the box to get something out of the game.
“It’s a bad result but we will react hopefully as we do when we have a defeat,” said Ferguson.
“We were in complete control of the game for large parts of it.
“Some of our stuff was good, but we needed a bit more quality at times in the box.”
With both teams pushing hard for an automatic promotion spot at present, it was always going to come down to fine margins as to who would come out on top.
It was a mistake that saw the deadlock broken in the 33rd minute when Butler’s pass to Tommy Rowe was snuffed out by Carey, who proceeded to curl an exquisite shot past Marko Marosi in the Doncaster goal.
Rovers rsponded strongly and went close to equalising through Craig Alcock and Butler, both denied by Argyle keeper Luke McCormick.
After the break, Mandeville was denied by a sharp, reaction save from McCormick, who also smothered a weaker effort from Alcock.
But it was a controversial penalty decision which saw the game drift further away from the visitors just after the hour mark, Butler adjudged to have fouled Ryan Donaldson, with Jervis stepping up to double the home side’s lead.
But, despite enjoying plenty of possession, Rovers found it difficult to create any clear-cut chances, a Marquis header comfortably saved by McCormick being the closest they came.
A brief flicker of hope came a minute from time when Matty Blair was tipped in the box, but Mandeville’s resultant spot-kick cannoned off the outside of the post – with Coppinger being red-carded from the ensuing melee that followed the penalty, completing a miserable trip for the South Yorkshire club.
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Songo’o, Bradley, Threlkeld, Fox, Smith, Jervis, Carey, Donaldson, Slew.
Subs Not Used: Palfrey, Goodwillie, Osborne, Rooney, Dorel, Tanner, Fletcher.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Alcock, Baudry, Butler (Calder 72), Mason (Williams 64), Blair, Houghton, Coppinger, Rowe, Marquis, Mandeville. Subs Not Used: Middleton, Wright, Keegan, Beestin, Jones.
Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands).
Yorkshire Post - Football
Get the latest news from The Yorkshire Post on social media.
Follow @YPSport on Twitter
See our snaps at @YPSport on Instagram.