Rovers power through in Carabao Cup with comfortable derby triumph: Scunthorpe United 1 Doncaster 2
Momentum is what the boss wanted and momentum is exactly what he got.
Doncaster Rovers carried their brilliant early season form across into the Carabao Cup as they deservedly swept past bitter rivals Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
Mallik Wilks marked his most complete performance so far in a Rovers shirt with his third goal in as many games.
The Leeds United loanee made all the right decisions to terrorise the Scunthorpe defence both inside the box and out wide with powerful running and superb link-up play with John Marquis.
But while the exciting young forward will again one of the top talking points from another impressive outing, this was another excellent team effort as Grant McCann's developing side delivered another exciting performance.
Highlighting the increasing coming together of McCann's plans was a goal for Danny Andrew, who took advantage of the confusion a full back being in an incredibly high position can cause.
Rovers were hard working and energetic throughout the side, causing plenty of panic among the opposition with a strong pressing game and producing real penetration down the flanks.
Arguably their most impressive attribute however was brilliance on the counterattack, with which they threatened time and again.
And it was all the more impressive that they were did so against a Scunthorpe side that had lost only twice during the tenure of boss Nick Daws, which began in March.
They could even afford the luxury of a late missed penalty from Marquis and what proved to be an injury time consolation strike from Scunthorpe's Stephen Humphrys.
McCann stuck to his pledge to make few changes. Alex Kiwomya missed out with a hamstring injury with James Coppinger restored to the starting XI while Tommy Rowe was rested with Matty Blair rewarded for his fine performances off the bench with a start.
Rovers started the game as they meant to go on, pushing forward hard and in good number from the first whistle.
Wilks should have put them ahead in the opening moments after latching onto a brilliant through ball from Ben Whiteman but blasted well over the bar.
Scunthorpe's threat came mainly from individual quality with Josh Morris surging in from wide areas to twice test Marko Marosi with powerful drives.
But Rovers were the aggressors and continued to push.
Wilks could only manage a tame effort after a superb counterattack while Herbie Kane curled wide after another.
Rovers finally made the pressure count on 36 minutes with another blistering counterattack.
Racing forward down the right, Coppinger spotted the run of Marquis on the far side and sent over an early ball. Charlie Goode looked destined to cut out the cross but fluffed his clearance allowing Marquis in to lay off to Wilks who finished confidently first time from the edge of the box.
Marquis had a header ruled out for a foul in the build-up as Rovers continued to look the more likely to score.
And Andrew drilled a superb effort which Rory Watson tipped over acrobatically in the final act of the period.
After a rather frantic start to the second half, Rovers doubled their advantage.
The importance of the full backs to McCann's system has been stressed time and again so the Rovers boss will have been delighted with his side's second goal.
Niall Mason lofted a high ball into the box from deep and Andrew ghosted in from the left and leapt to acrobatically loop the ball over Watson.
Wilks almost doubled his own personal tally after weaving his way on the edge of the box but he drilled narrowly wide.
Substitute Alfie May fired well over the bar from a glorious position while Andrew was inches away from his second with a powerful drive from the corner of the box.
Rovers should definitely have had a third three minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on John Marquis.
The striker stepped up himself and attempted to slot into the bottom corner but saw his effort well saved by Watson.
There was still time for more drama as substitute Humphrys curled a wonderful effort over Marosi in stoppage time to ensure a nervy finish.
But Rovers held on for the deserved triumph.
Scunthorpe: (4-2-3-1) Watson; Clarke, Goode, McArdle Borthwick-Jackson (Butroid 81); Lund, Perch; Morris (Horsfield 77), Thomas, Colclough; Novak (Humphrys 60). Subs not used: Flatt, Dales, Burgess, Olomola, Butroid.
Rovers: (4-3-3) Marosi; Mason, Wright, Butler, Andrew; Kane, Whiteman (McCullough 80), Blair; Coppinger (Taylor 73), Marquis, Wilks (May 73). Subs not used: Lawlor, Anderson, Amos, Beestin.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)