Doncaster Rovers 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2: Etheridge horror show lets Wycombe off the hook

Two big errors from goalkeeper Ross Etheridge meant it was literally two points dropped for Doncaster Rovers.

Saturday, 29th October 2016, 7:15 pm
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:03 am
Rovers v Wycombe

A Halloween horror show from the 22-year-old, a stand-in for the injured Marko Marosi, meant third-placed Doncaster lost ground on the top two and missed the opportunity to extend the gap to fourth.

Rovers fell behind to Matt Bloomfield's tap-in - after Etheridge spilled a cross - but lead deservedly at the break courtesy of goals from Tommy Rowe and John Marquis.

And they looked to be cruising to victory before another Etheridge mistake allowed Bloomfield to nick a point for the Chairboys.

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Darren Ferguson reverted to 4-4-2 with Rowe playing at the tip of the midfield diamond and James Coppinger supporting Marquis in attack, while Riccardo Calder replaced Harry Middleton.

During a low key opening to the game Niall Mason fired an effort just wide following good build-up play from Marquis and Coppinger.

Rovers looked dangerous when they broke quickly and got into wide areas - and they should have taken the lead on 13 minutes when Coppinger prodded wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy after Marquis had flicked on Matty Blair's cross.

Instead Wycombe went ahead six minutes later from their first serious attack. Etheridge, under pressure from Bloomfield, failed to hold onto a cross from the left from Joe Jacobson and Bloomfield was able to hook home the loose ball.

Doncaster responded in kind by levelling, just before the half hour mark, with their next attempt. Coppinger raced clear, timing his run well to latch onto a through ball, and his cross was converted first-time by Rowe.

Rowe then almost put the home side in front but his jinking run into the area ended with Luke O'Nien's last-ditch intervention flying just wide of the post.

Rovers, though, grabbed the lead before half time courtesy of an excellent goal from Marquis. The striker picked up the ball on the right and was allowed to slalom his way into the box before coolly wrong-footing goalkeeper Jamal Blackman and slotting home.

Rowe had impressed back in the position he shone in at end of last season so it was a blow for Rovers when the midfielder was forced off at the break. Alfie Beestin came on to replace him, while Wycombe brought on powerhouse striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Akinfenwa immediately showed what he was all about as his strength created a shooting chance for himself and then Paris Cowan-Hall, whose deflected effort sailed over.

Rovers continued to look a threat on the break and Coppinger should have done better when he was played in by Jordan Houghton but fired straight at Blackman.

With the game seemingly petering out, and the hosts under very little pressure, Rovers gifted Wycombe a route back into the game on 78 minutes - and Etheridge was solely to blame. The young goalkeeper failed to hold a routine shot from Cowan-Hall and Bloomfield reacted quickest to convert the rebound.

Rovers came within inches of a late winner when Calder's cross was deflected just wide by Wanderers defender Will De Havilland.

Rovers: Etheridge, Mason, Butler, Baudry, Evina, Houghton, Calder, Blair, Rowe (Beestin 46), Coppinger, Marquis. Subs not used: Jones, Wright, Middleton, Mandeville, Keegan, Garratt.

Wycombe: Blackman, Harriman, De Havilland, Pierre, Jacobson, Rowe (Akinfenwa 46), Gape, O'Nien (Wood 83), Bloomfield (Thompson 90), Cowan-Hall, Hayes. Subs not used: Brown, Jombati, Stewart, Kashket.

Attendance: 5,287 (326)

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)