Doncaster slipped further into League One relegation trouble after a second-half collapse at Colchester.
Darren Ferguson’s side had picked up just three draws in their last 12 games but led 1-0 at the break thanks to a goal on his debut by loan man Gary McSheffrey.
But Rovers fell apart in the second half, conceding three goals in 11 minutes before a fourth but the seal on the game and a crushing defeat against their relegation rivals.
Doncaster slip to third bottom, two points adrift of safety with eight games to go.
Chris Porter, Elliot Lee, Alex Gilbey and Richard Brindley completed the rout at the Colchester Community Stadium.
Afterwards, Ferguson turned on his players.
“I know I’ll be hurting until we play again but will they be? I don’t know,” he asked.
“Quite honestly I could play the youth team on Monday and I’d get more out of them than that. The fans would probably appreciate it.”