Match verdict: Scunthorpe United 1 Doncaster Rovers 2

James Coppinger and Richie Wellens celebrate Doncaster Rovers' equaliser against Scunthorpe
James Coppinger and Richie Wellens celebrate Doncaster Rovers' equaliser against Scunthorpe

When it comes to finding a formula that works, Paul Dickov could have struck gold with his 4-1-4-1 formation.

A man whose tactical nous has been called into question by some supporters, Dickov got it spot-on against Scunthorpe United on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Dickov

Paul Dickov

Four changes were made to the side that started against Walsall - a defeat Doncaster fans would like to forget.

And those proved to be match-winning switches as Rovers ultimately headed back down the M18 with derby day joy, clinching onto a deserved three points.

Liam Wakefield, Marc De Val, Nathan Tyson and Richie Wellens all started ahead of Cedric Evina, Paul Keegan, Kyle Bennett and Theo Robinson to take on the might of neighbouring Scunthorpe as form was well and truly chucked out of the window.

Reece Wabara switched flanks, taking on the left-back spot in place of Evina who was struggling through illness. Wabara’s attacking threat complemented the lively Harry Forrester who sat just infront on the wing.

Liam Wakefield makes a run down the wing

Liam Wakefield makes a run down the wing

That duo was mirrored down the right as Wakefield and James Coppinger combined to provide Doncaster with two solid channels for the visitors.

Meanwhile, Marc De Val took on a conductor’s role - sitting just infront of the back four and taking up a job that can often go unnoticed. However, if done correctly, it can prove just as important as a match-winning goal, block or save and the Spaniard did just that.

Just ahead was Dean Furman and Wellens - the South African taking on the less glamorous role of breaking up the play as he allowed his partner the freedom to attack with purpose.

Spearheading things, Tyson was Doncaster’s leader of the pack.

The lone striker was drafted in after recovering from injury as Rovers bid to exploit the striker’s blistering pace and tireless work ethic in order to bring home maximum points.

In response, Russ Wilcox brought in two attacking threats of his own in the shape of Matt Sparrow and Terry Hawkridge who replaced Sean McAllister and Jennison Myrie-Williams in the middle as Scunthorpe aimed to rise from the mire of the relegation zone.

As the suspense grew around Glanford Park ahead of the first whistle, the fact that neither side had particularly set the League One alight this season was all forgotten about as an excited cacophony rang around United’s closed-in fortress.

Wellens struck first blood as he drove at the Scunthorpe defence before unleashing a long range effort on goal - the chance palmed away expertly by Bobby Olejnik who prior to that, didn’t quite know he’d be in for a harsh afternoon’s work.

Forrester attempted the same but again Olejnik was equal to it as Rovers rallied with just six minutes gone.

A high tempo start also came with its collection of tasty challenges as Sparrow was first into the book for a robust tackle on Rovers’ talisman Wellens as much of the battle was locked in the midfield.

And as Doncaster had a penalty appeal waved away despite former Iron man Jamie McCombe’s protestations for a United handball, the visitors appeared eager to give themselves a goalscoring start and propel them to victory.

However, Scunthorpe came into their own via the experience of Gary McSheffrey who dragged a set-piece wide before drilling an effort into the chest of Jed Steer.

A Wellens chance was then counter-acted by Paddy Madden who had Steer at full stretch to his right, denying the Irishman an opener.

That proved to be merely a practice swing for Scunthorpe as the hosts served up a body blow to Doncaster when Rory Fallon slotted in his second goal for his new club, burying a low drive into the corner for a 24th minute lead.

But United weren’t as Iron-clad in defence as Wilcox would have liked as Coppinger brought Doncaster back on level terms just five minutes later via a Furman knock-on from a corner and a neat turn and finish from the Rovers skipper.

Battle commenced in midfield as Hawkridge looked dangerous for the hosts before Forrester was guilty of not taking his one-on-one with Olejnik - the opposing ‘keeper blocking his drilled effort as the half eventually drew to a close.

Five minutes after the restart, a tireless Tyson - who had chased down Scunthorpe’s defence all game - dealt the home side a hammer blow of epic proportions as he latched onto Furman’s brilliant pass to coolly finish, ripping up Wilcox’s half time script.

Doncaster pressed and they did it with confidence but on this occasion came up against the towering presence of Olejnik who continued to thwart Rovers’ attacks including a curling free-kick from Coppinger.

Scunthorpe attempted to restore parity but Neal Bishop’s penalty appeal was waved away by Seb Stockbridge and Madden’s delicate lob finished the wrong side of Steer’s right-hand post.

Substitute Hakeeb Adelakun offered another attacking threat for the Iron but his dragged effort from range summed up a frustrating display from United as Doncaster - albeit ruing a collection of missed chances - took the derby day spoils.

Scunthorpe: Olejnik 8, O’Neill 6, Brisley 6, Boyce 6, Williams 6, Hawkridge 7 (Myrie-Williams 62, 6), Bishop 6, Sparrow 6, McSheffrey 6 (Adelakun 73, 7), Fallon 7, Madden 6. Subs not used: Severn, Dawson, McAllister, Kee, Llera.

Doncaster: Steer 7, Wakefield 7, McCullough 7, McCombe 7, Wabara 7, De Val 7 (Keegan 82, 7), Wellens 7, Coppinger 7, Forrester 7, Furman 8, Tyson 9. Subs not used: Marosi, Robinson, Bennett, Peterson, Lund, Ferguson.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge