Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson's men have winning habit ... Rovers 2 Newport County 0
It does not matter how you win, just win.
That has been a very clear message from Darren Ferguson as he plots an instant return to League One for Doncaster Rovers.
And his players appear to have taken heed. A performance more functional than flamboyant accounted for a plucky Newport side and sent Rovers up to second in the standings.
The home side started slowly before man of the moment James Coppinger broke the deadlock with a sublime free-kick.
Rovers were by no means dominant and did not get close to the five-star standard they set at Morecambe the week previously.
But they still got the job done and there was an element of ruthlessness about the way Andy Williams swept home the all-important second goal just before the hour mark.
Newport, who arrived at the Keepmoat with just one win to their name this season, refused to lie down and missed a gilt-edged chance to level before the break when Jon Parkin was presented with an open goal but failed to hit the target from 20 yards out.
County also reacted well after going two behind and Marko Marosi had to make a good save to deny substitute Rhys Healey one on one.
The visitors knew it wasn’t their day when Healey saw another attempt, in the closing stages, stopped on the line by Joe Wright.
Rovers’ best moments on the ball came in the first half, down the right hand side through Matty Blair, Harry Middleton and Coppinger.
Their interplay created good chances for Williams and Tommy Rowe but it was Coppinger’s classy free kick which separated the sides at half time.
Upon the restart the game was drifting and lacking in quality. But cometh the hour, Williams latched onto Rowe’s pass and with a smart finish wrapped up a sixth win in seven games. It’s becoming a habit.
BUTLER AND THE BEAST
The big physical battle between Parkin and Butler, and also Wright at times, was fun to watch.
And Rovers could not only be satisfied with how they handled the big striker but how they defended in general, as they worked hard to stop County’s widemen and got their heads to several crosses and long throws.
Where does John Marquis get his energy from?
Rovers fans have really taken to this lad, and it’s no surprise at all. He leaves absolutely nothing on the pitch, and he epitomises the high energy game that his manager demands.
Marquis is a pest to play against and he wound up the Newport defenders more and more as the game went on. He was denied a clear-cut penalty when clipped from behind but perhaps made too much of it when he went down for a second time in the box.