Analysis: Don't worry, there's fight in the old Don yet '“ MK Dons 1 Doncaster Rovers 2
It is proving to be very much a case of finishing how you mean to go on for Doncaster Rovers.
An up-and-down season is on course to end with Rovers mounting their best run of the campaign.
And as they hope for better next term, there could hardly be a better way for them to enter the summer.
There is still plenty of ground to cover with six games left to play but Rovers are on the right track.
Their latest triumph may have been far from perfect but it did assert one important truth about this Rovers team.
They really want to finish as strongly as possible.
Rovers’ levels of end-of-season desire were tested to the fullest in a high intensity battle with an MK Dons side fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table.
It started badly and they looked set to be overwhelmed and out-battled by Milton Keynes.
But they showed they remain motivated to rack up as many points as possible between now and May 5.
They had plenty to do after falling behind to Ike Ugbo’s well-taken goal in the first half and coming under plenty of pressure from the Dons.
And they responded with a fine second half performance and a brace from John Marquis, to secure a third win in four matches.
By the end of Tuesday night’s rearranged clash with Bury they could be up to tenth - a position they have reached or bettered after only three matches this season.
STORY OF THE MATCH
It was clear from the start that MK Dons would throw everything they had at Rovers in a bid for the win they so desperately needed.
They simply had more energy and fight from the opening whistle, pushing Rovers deeper by flooding men forward.
And they took a deserved lead on 19 minutes when Ugbo clipped in from close range after Rovers were caught napping at the back.
With Matty Blair forced off due a suspected concussion, Rovers switched to a 4-2-3-1 system and enjoyed greater success, finishing the first half much stronger.
And they started the second in fine style by levelling up on 49 minutes with Marquis turning in Alex Kiwomya’s low centre.
Though much improved, Rovers were indebted to goalkeeper Marko Marosi for keeping them level.
Marosi denied Ugbo, Chuks Aneke and Peter Pawlett with a string of fine saves.
And it laid the platform for Rovers taking the lead when Tommy Rowe played a fine long pass to Marquis who slammed into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
MK Dons unsurprisingly pushed to get on level terms but struggled for clear cut opportunities as they grew ever more desperate.
There is no way Marko Marosi is giving up the starting shirt without a fight.
And while Marquis will hit the headlines for his brace, Marosi deserves to be labelled a match-winner just as much as the man producing the magic at the other end of the pitch.
He produced at least three key saves in the first half and was even better in the second, making some fine stops and closing down shots superbly.
His long run between the sticks has been a pleasant surprise and the form he has shown in that time has been even more satisfying.
It would take an incredible downturn in form for Ian Lawlor to get a recall any time soon.
BENEFITS OF COMPETITION
Some of the key influences behind Rovers turnaround in this game came off the bench.
Alfie Beestin was on early in place of Blair and looked much closer to his best than he did in his off-colour performance at Gillingham last weekend.
And Ben Whiteman enjoyed his best showing in Rovers colours for some time after replacing Luke McCullough at half time.
Each member of the Rovers squad knows they have to perform whenever they get on the pitch or face missing out on game time.
Beestin and Whiteman both responded superbly after finding themselves dropping to the bench.
This competition for places can drive Rovers to that strong finish they crave.