Rovers went ahead early on in the contest when Branden Horton put them in front but the visitors roared back with goals from Luke Jephcott, Joe Edwards and Jordon Garrick.
Doncaster had come close to doubling their initial lead through new signing Mipo Odubeko and Josh Martin. In the second half, Odubeko missed a pair of chances before Rowe struck the post as Doncaster were left 10 points from safety.
“I thought we started the game really well,” said McSheffrey.
“We were on the front foot, pressing really high up and winning the ball back in their half.
“We created some real sitters and we’ve got to put them away.
“We should have gone in at half-time winning the game. It’s another learning curve for the players – when you’re on top like that and creating chances as we did, you’ve got to put two or three ahead early doors.
“We got ahead and we just dropped a little bit. I thought we let them play forward too much and we weren’t stopping the forward pass. I’m disappointed with how we went from being so good in the first 20 minutes to then having a bit of a blip for 15 minutes. Then we finished the half well and should have scored another two or three comfortably.
“It’s a really frustrating one.”
Doncaster Rovers: Jones; Knoyle, Younger, Olowu, Horton (Jackson 74); Smith (Clayton 87), Galbraith, Rowe; Odubeko (Seaman 87), Dodoo, Martin (Agard 74). Unused substitutes: Mitchell, Hasani, Barlow.
Plymouth Argyle: Cooper; Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey; Houghton; Edwards, Randell (Mayor 46), Broom (Camara 56), Grant (Bolton 90); Jephcott (Garrick 76), Ennis. Unused substitutes: Burton, Hardie, Critchlow.
Referee: M Coy (Durham).