Mission accomplished for Doncaster Rovers as they hold their own in League One

Battle: Wigan's Sam Morsy, left, and Doncaster's Luke McCullough challenge for the ball.
Battle: Wigan's Sam Morsy, left, and Doncaster's Luke McCullough challenge for the ball.
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Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson missed his side’s final game of the League One season against Wigan Athletic due to his father’s emergency operation.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson underwent surgery on a brain haemorrhage and Darren went to the hospital where the 76-year-old was operated on.

Rovers announced just prior to kick-off on Saturday that Darren would not be in attendance and that assistant manager Gavin Strachan would take charge.

Doncaster’s 1-0 defeat confirmed Wigan as League One champions after Will Grigg’s 26th goal of the season.

A point would have likely guaranteed that already-promoted Latics would go up as champions, ahead of Blackburn Rovers, and they sealed the title in style when Grigg slotted home 15 minutes from time.

Blackburn, who were also already guaranteed automatic promotion, beat Oxford 2-1 but had to settle for second place.

The objective at the start of the season was to cement our place in the league and we have done that.

Gavin Strachan

After the game, Doncaster announced several players will be leaving the Keepmoat, including Mathieu Baudry, Reece Fielding, Tyler Walker, Craig Alcock, Cedric Evina and Andy Williams.

Club legend James Coppinger will be offered a new deal, but Liam Mandeville, Tyler Garratt and Mitchell Lund have all been made available for transfer.

Rovers, who finished the season in 15th place, held firm for the majority of a tame contest.

Young left-back Danny Amos again showed no signs of nerves on his second start and also delivered some useful set pieces for Rovers.

After John Marquis poked an early effort wide for Rovers, it was stalemate in the opening half.

Wigan became more of a threat towards the end of it as Gavin Massey and Sam Morsy fired at Marko Marosi before Grigg almost converted a cross from Nathan Byrne.

The Northern Ireland striker twice went close after the break before breaking the deadlock when he latched onto Nick Powell’s through ball and coolly slotted past Marosi.

“The players did the things the manager wanted and we ran a really good team very close,” said Strachan.

“We made them work hard for their victory and it was a counter-attack goal that did us in the end.

“The objective at the start of the season was to cement our place in the league and we have done that. We wanted to develop some of the existing players and bring in some new faces as well.”

Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Mason, Anderson, Butler, Amos, McCullough, Houghton, Blair (Kongolo 22), Whiteman (Kiwomya 78), Beestin, Marquis. Unused substitutes: Lawlor, Andrew, Fletcher, Ben Khemis, May.

Wigan Athletic: Walton, Byrne, Elder, Dunkley, Burn, Morsy, Power, Massey (Perkins 83), Jacobs (Roberts 90), Powell, Grigg (Cole 90). Unused substitutes: Jones, Walker, Bruce, Colclough.

Referee: D Webb (Tyne & Wear).

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