DONCASTER Rovers fully deserved their last-minute winner, claimed manager Duncan Ferguson.
Liam Mandeville was the hero as Rovers maintained their promotion push and Ferguson said: “It would’ve been a travesty had we not won. We totally dominated. We did what we wanted to do really well. We got control of the game and played some really good stuff.
“I said to the players at half-time ‘keep believing in what we’re doing’ and we did that. We were very dominant and a good goal won us the game.
“I don’t think we had a massive amount of chances – they were very stubborn – but I thought we were totally dominant.
“I’d have been disappointed with the result if we’d have not won it but I wouldn’t have been disappointed with the performance.”
John Marquis headed Rovers ahead but Padraig Amond equalised from the penalty spot shortly before the break after being fouled by Mathieu Baudry.
Doncaster had lost goalkeeper Marko Marosi to concussion midway through the half and replacement Ross Etheridge’s first touch played the ball to Amond, who struck the post. Doncaster immediately took the lead on the counter-attack when Marquis stooped to head past Trevor Carson.
The hosts looked comfortable until Amond sent Etheridge the wrong way with his penalty.
Doncaster had the edge in a high-tempo second half and Mandeville raced in to turn in Marquis’s low cross.
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi (Etheridge 22), Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger (Keegan 90), Mandeville, Marquis. Unused substitutes: Wright, Garratt, Evina, Beestin, Longbottom.
Hartlepool United: Carson, Richardson, Nsiala, Bates, Carroll, Richards, Laurent, Hawkins (Woods 63), Deverdics (Jones 88), Amond, Alessandra (Paynter 82). Unused substitutes: Oates, Bartlett, Orrell, Harrison.
Referee: M Haywood (West Yorks).