Doncaster Rovers 1 Morecambe 1: John Marquis continues to point way for Rovers

DONCASTER Rovers manager Darren Ferguson warned that his side have to start games better after seeing them fail to win for the first time this year.

Battling Morecambe were lifted by a goal midway through the first half from captain Peter Murphy before in-form John Marquis sidefooted home from 12 yards in the 56th minute for his 18th goal of the season.

The striker also had a penalty appeal rejected and drilled a shot wide after his equaliser, but Ian Lawlor had to be alert to keep out a late shot from Morecambe substitute Rhys Turner after Rovers had dominated the second period.

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Ferguson said of his table-toppers: “We should have won with the amount of dominance we had, particularly in the second half. But it was important not to lose the game.

“My players could not have done any more but Morecambe were excellent the way they went about their job.

“We started poorly but the first goal gave Morecambe a massive lift. It gave them something to hang on to.

“We could not have done much more in the second half to win the game. We kept passing and probing but could not get the winner, although we were not as fluid as we wanted to be.

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“It’s two points dropped but 16 points out of 18 is fantastic. The promotion race is not over – we have a really tough spell coming up. We have a long way to go, over a third of the season, but if we keep applying ourselves as we have been then we won’t be far away.”

Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Baudry, Butler, Mason, Houghton (Middleton 90), Coppinger, Rowe, Grant, Marquis, Williams (Mandeville 66). Unused substitutes: Etheridge, Alcock, Wright, Keegan, Beestin.

Morecambe: Roche, Edwards, Kenyon, Whitmore, McGowan (Duckworth 85), Murphy, Wildig (Evans 72), Rose, Molyneux, Ellison, Mullin (Turner 73). Unused substitutes: Wakefield, Nizic, Conlan, Jordan.

Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).