Doncaster Rovers 3 Fleetwood Town 0: We were dominant, reflects Ferguson

The hole at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The hole at the Keepmoat Stadium.
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BURNLEY loanee defender Tom Anderson struck twice and recalled striker Alex Kiwomya, who once had a spell at Fleetwood, got the other to give Doncaster their first win of 2018 and ease fears of becoming embroiled in a relegation battle.

Darren Ferguson made five changes after the 4-2 midweek defeat at Walsall with goalkeeper Marko Marosi, Craig Alcock, Niall Mason, Kiwomya and James Coppinger brought into the starting line-up. His switches certainly paid dividends.

The match went ahead only after groundstaff made urgent pitch repairs after a hole, containing a sprinkler, developed to the right of the dugouts a couple of yards from the touchline.

Fleetwood welcomed back key central defender Cian Bolger from suspension as they made three changes from the side which lost 2-1 at home to leaders Shrewsbury in midweek.

The visitors made the brighter start but Rovers struck in the 14th minute, Kiwomya converting from close range from a low cross from the left from fellow striker John Marquis.

Central defender Anderson went up for a free-kick and won another on the edge of the area and was on hand to force home the second goal after Marquis’s low drive had squirmed out of the grasp of goalkeeper Alex Cairns in the 27th minute.

It could have been 3-0 in stoppage time but Cairns made a far-post block from Andy Boyle following a free-kick.

Striker Jordy Hiwula and Conor McAleny replaced Kevin O’Connor and Bobby Grant at the break for Fleetwood.

But it was Rovers who went close again, Alfie Beestin striking the post after taking a return pass from Coppinger.

They soon made it 3-0, however, Clever play from Coppinger after Fleetwood believed they had cleared the danger released Tommy Rowe to cross from the right, allowing Anderson to plant a fine header beyond Cairns in the 55th minute.

Coppinger fed Marquis to fire off target before Fleetwood made their third change as they offered little threat.

Alfie May came on as Kiwomya was rested in the 72nd minute.

Marosi pulled off a smart right-handed save from former Bradford forward Hiwula as Fleetwood finally pressed for a spell.

Former Fleetwood favourite Matty Blair came on for Beestin and Rovers had little trouble in capturing the points though Marosi made a good save from Ashley Hunter’s long-range attempt in stoppage time.

Ferguson said: “I said after the game on Tuesday we wanted to make sure that sort of performance, that level of performance and the manner in which we lost was a one off.

“If it was, only time will tell. But certain on the basis of this performance it was.

“It has to be that way. There’s no ifs or buts about it.

“The players knew that when I reminded them of what was expected of them on Thursday.

“We played more like a team that people are used to seeing in terms of energy, application, determination to win a game of football.

“I thought they were very good at it. We were dominant. Three goals, a clean sheet - a comprehensive victory really.”