Rovers FT: Doncaster Rovers 2 Yeovil 1

Flying high, Rovers' match-winner Mark Duffy
Flying high, Rovers' match-winner Mark Duffy

Mark Duffy’s stunning free kick earned Rovers a hugely important victory against Championship basement side Yeovil.

Duffy’s first goal for Doncaster - a rare moment of quality during a scrappy affair - gave Rovers some much-needed breathing space at the bottom of the table.

The goal came just moments after Dean Furman, who broke the deadlock with his first goal for the club, went from hero to villain as the South African was sent off.

Former Rovers defender Byron Webster had levelled on the stroke of half-time but Rovers went on to grind out a vital win.

Doncaster had enjoyed some good possession during the opening exchanges, with Duffy twice trying his luck from distance.

And with Yeovil already setting their stall out to play on the counter, the home side made their decent start count by taking an early lead.

Frazer Fyvie, who was later substituted on the half hour, was guilty of giving away the ball under no pressure and Duffy led the charge.

He played in Macheda who unselfishly laid it on a plate for Furman to sweep home from close range.

Set pieces were proving to be Yeovil’s main threat and their height advantage was a source of worry, although Bongani Khumalo and Liam McCullough appeared to be standing up well to the task.

Ross Turnbull had to be alert to divert Webster’s header from a corner wide, while he saved Fyvie’s weak free kick from the edge of the box more comfortably.

Rovers had failed to kick on from the goal however. And as frustration mounted at more and more passes going astray, Town levelled on the stroke of half-time - from another set piece.

Substitute Liam Davis’ free kick from deep was headed back across goal by Shane Duffy and Webster was on hand to prod it home.

Rovers themselves threatened from a set piece before the break but Paul Quinn saw his shot, from David Cotterill’s corner, blocked on the line.

Quinn had the first effort of the second period too, latching on to Duffy’s square ball and drilling an effort at Chris Dunn.

With Rovers struggling for any sort of fluency, Yeovil flexed their muscles at the other end.

First Davis ghosted into the box and tried his luck before Sam Hoskins did the same, but Turnbull was equal to it on both occasions.

Yeovil were looking the more likely and, as Rovers continued to huff and puff, Paul Dickov looked to the bench for inspiration as he threw on James Coppinger and Billy Paynter.

Coppinger was the architect of the best chance of the half. His cross reached Duffy whose pull back found Richie Wellens with the goal at his mercy but his weak effort failed to trouble Dunn.

Furman then picked up his second yellow card for a reckless tackle but moments later Rovers were ahead - out of nothing.

The hosts won a free kick on the angle of the box and Duffy unleashed a sweet strike, beating Dunn at his near post.

James Hayter and Ed Upson went close to a dramatic late equaliser but Rovers held out for a crucial win.

Rovers: Turnbull, Quinn, Khumalo, McCullough, Wabara, Duffy, Furman, Wellens, Cotterill (Coppinger 65), Robinson (Paynter 68), Macheda (Fernandez 87). Subs: Maxted, Peterson, Wakefield, Finnegan.

Yeovil: Dunn, Ayling, McAllister (Davis 39), Duffy, Webster, Upson, Edwards, Fyvie (Dawson 30), Hoskins (Hayter 74), Ralls, Grant. Subs: Foley, Stewart, Fontaine, Madden.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Attendance: 6,620.