Doncaster Rovers were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Wycombe Wanderers in League Two.
Two clear errors for both goals from stand-in goalkeeper Ross Etheridge, drafted in for his first start since August in place of the injured Marko Marosi, cost Rovers two points at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers have been imperious at home this season but put in an uncharacteristically disjointed second half performance.
Boss Darren Ferguson said: “This was a game we thought could have helped us get rid of the demons of last week and kick on again so it’s disappointing we haven’t won. The game should be over at half-time. We should have put the game to bed, it should have been four or five.
“In the first half I thought we were outstanding, absolutely outstanding. The front three caused them havoc and we recovered quickly from an error that put us behind from their first shot on goal.
“The second half just got scrappy and not how I wanted it; we didn’t get a rhythm and our first pass wasn’t good enough.
“In saying that I didn’t think they caused us too much trouble and again, we know why we haven’t won the game- two individual errors. We win, lose and draw together and we have to move on, but it’s certainly a game where we’ve dropped two points. We’re still unbeaten at home but it’s disappointing, first half wise it was really enjoyable to watch. We were excellent.”
Ferguson made two changes to the side that went down at Blackpool; Etheridge came in and Riccardo Calder replaced Harry Middleton at the top of a midfield diamond.
Doncaster did not have to face the threat of former striker Adebayo Akinfenwa from the start- he took his not inconsiderable place on Wycombe’s bench.
Rovers should have taken the lead in the 13th minute.
James Coppinger somehow turned wide from a great position at the far post after Matty Blair’s deflected cross from the right-hand side fell to him.
They were made to rue this missed opportunity six minutes later as Wanderers went 1-0 up through Matt Bloomfield.
Joe Jacobson’s high cross was spilled by Etheridge under pressure from Bloomfield who, despite losing his footing, was able to knock home the loose ball from a sitting position inside the box.
Match stats: Doncaster Rovers v Wycombe
Ferguson’s side defend the best home record in League Two for a reason and were level on the half-hour mark.
One of several threatening moves down the right flank ended with Rowe sliding in to convert Coppinger’s low ball across goal.
After receiving his Player of the Month award before kick-off, John Marquis marked the occasion by putting his team into the lead on 40 minutes.
The striker bore a hole through Wycombe’s back four, consigning two defenders to their backsides, before selling ‘keeper Jamal Blackman a dummy to fire in from ten yards.
Neither side could truly build on the positive elements of their first-half performances after the interval as the away side’s game plan swiftly begun to revolve around Akinfenwa, introduced at the break.
Coppinger remained lively and his firm drive on target forced Blackman into a sharp save.
Rovers, perhaps guilty of over-complicating in the second half, fell behind in frustrating fashion with twelve minutes to play.
Etheridge couldn’t hold Paris Cowan Hall’s shot from 25 yards that looked nothing more than innocuous, but it proved a whole lot more than that as Bloomfield completed his brace with an opportunistic finish.
Looking to respond, substitute Alfie Beestin took hold of the ball in the box but his shot was well blocked.
Cedric Evina bounded down the left wing and almost forced defender Will De Havilland to put through his own net as his clearance almost grazed the near post.
Rovers came no closer to a late winner.
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