Decision making let Doncaster Rovers down insists Darren Moore
Jason Lokilo gave the visitors the early breakthrough, but it was the prelude to a strong and organised Fleetwood side managed by ex-Leeds United and Huddersfield Town manager Simon Grayson taking over and winning their battles for much of the remainder of the game on a freezing night as the visitors also became uncharacteristically sloppy on the ball and did not adapt to the conditions.
A strike from former Rotherham United striker Kyle Vassell levelled the game on the resumption and further goals arrived from Paddy Madden and one-time Doncaster full-back Danny Andrew as Rovers suffered their first league defeat in 2021 and first in seven League One matches since losing to Shrewsbury just before Christmas.
It also ended a run of four successive away league wins, while Rovers' 100 per cent league record this calendar year, which had seen them win all five previous games, also came to an abrupt halt.
Moore acknowledges that the result has provided food for thought ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland.
Moore said: “I thought it was perfect, the way we started the game.
“Fleetwood would have to come onto us after we went ahead and we could open up some spaces on them.
“But I look at some of our decision-making in terms when we had to advance up the pitch where there was opportunity to do so and we still wanted to play short to feet.
“It gave Fleetwood fresh optimism to climb all over us and run off the back of us.
“It’s one for us to learn from quickly because we’ve got a different type of match to come on Saturday and we need to be ready for that one.
“We wanted to start the game bright and I thought we did that with Jason getting a really good game.
“But it just seemed to fizzle out for us and the longer it went on the worse it seemed to get. It just wasn’t right. We never really settled in the match or settled down and enjoy the ball.
“If anything we were giving it away too often.
“The conditions were getting colder and the pitch was getting bobblier so we just had to let the ball do the work and I thought we didn’t quite master it.”
Wins for Peterborough and Portsmouth pushed Rovers down to fifth, but they have games in hand on the three sides above them.