Ryan Loft’s 38th-minute own goal proved the difference between two teams who have found league points hard to come by this season – and spoiled new boss Keith Hill’s first game in charge of the Iron.
While neither side were able to find the quality to match their endeavour, Rovers always looked the likelier team to break the deadlock.
And after Rory Watson had earlier denied Joe Dodoo from close range, Loft volleyed past his own keeper from a corner, under pressure from visiting defender Tommy Rowe.
Doncaster dictated the pace of the game after the break, and twice went close to doubling their lead.
Tiago Cukur should have hit the target with a free header that bobbled wide and the Iron breathed a sigh of relief when Branden Horton’s inviting cross took a deflection before bouncing off a post and into the arms of Watson.
Scunthorpe’s only real chance to snatch an equaliser came in stoppage time, but substitute Aaron Jarvis could only find the side-netting from a ball over the top of the visiting defence.