Doncaster Rovers 1 Coventry City 4: Doncaster defence is severely punished for its ‘bad day at office’

Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders
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Doncaster Rovers manager Dean Saunders was left to bemoan his side’s poor defending after they were shredded on home turf by Coventry City.

“Obviously it’s a disastrous result for us,” said Saunders.

“We conceded four goals which is totally unlike us. I can only put it down to a bad day at the office.

“We just didn’t defend. Some of the defending was appalling, and that’s (usually) our strength.”

His counterpart, former Rotherham and Barnsley boss Mark Robins, commented: “It was the best we’ve done since I came here.

“I’m really, really happy with the performance. We were terrific, a great day.

“All four goals were outstanding. The players will have a bit of a breather now.

“We can have a Christmas party, which I didn’t think would happen when I first came here, but I can reward them now because they deserve it.

“The manner of the performance was superb.”

A brace from League One’s top goalscorer David McGoldrick helped resurgent Coventry claim their fourth league win in five games.

Coventry took the lead on five minutes, midfielder Franck Moussa giving goalkeeper Gary Woods no chance with a superb strike from the edge of the box.

Rovers suffered a blow on 25 minutes when leading scorer David Cotterill was forced off through injury, his place being taken by Chris Brown.

The change came a minute before Coventry doubled their advantage.

McGoldrick beat Woods with a header, leaving the Rovers fans stunned and silent.

Coventry effectively killed the game off on 68 minutes, when the unmarked McGoldrick picked his spot from close range after getting on the end of Jordan Clarke’s angled ball from the edge of the box.

Rovers pulled a goal back on 76 minutes when a header by Billy Paynter hit the crossbar and Brown was on hand to finish off and make it 3-1.

There was a let-off for Rovers when James Bailey headed over from Gary McSheffrey’s inviting cross just a couple of yards out.

But there was still time to add to Rovers’ embarrassment, Adam Barton beating Woods with a superb 25-yard shot to make it 4-1 in the 90th minute.

The goal signalled a mass exodus of home fans, who had seen enough and did not want to endure three minutes of stoppage time.

Doncaster Rovers: Gary Woods, Quinn (Griffin 46), Rob Jones, Spurr, Husband, Bennett, Harper (Clingan 73), Keegan, Cotterill (Brown 25), Hume, Paynter. Unused substitutes: Maxted, Martis, Blake, McCombe.

Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Wood, Edjenguele, Adams, Barton (Thomas 90), Moussa (Clarke 49), Jennings, Bailey, McSheffrey, McGoldrick. Unused substitutes: Dunn, Cameron, McDonald, Fleck, O’Donovan.

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey).

Man of the match: David McGoldrick.