ANALYSIS: Brave souls of Doncaster Rovers scarred by another visit to Wycombe's Adams house of horrors

The Adams house of horrors gave Doncaster Rovers nightmares yet again and they will not relish the thought of a return visit any time soon.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 1:47 pm
Tom Anderson

Rovers find themselves haunted after a visit to Adams Park. Their brave souls terrorised by another horror show of a finish.

And it is hard not to believe a hex has been placed on them whenever they walk into the home of Wycombe Wanderers – a place they have never taken points away from.

There is certainly some magic surrounding the Chairboys currently – be it dark or light. An unfashionable, industrious group has hauled itself to the top of the table and shows no signs of letting itself slip.

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Donervon Daniels

And, as they proved on Saturday, Wycombe are on the favourable side of fortune that all genuine promotion contenders need a grasp of at some stage.

It became clear from the start of a rain-soaked clash that Rovers were not going to have it their own way and would need battle and bottle more than craft and style.

There was no doubting their resilience and character in the face of mounting odds against them. But in the end it proved too much.

Joe Jacobson's added time penalty separated Wycombe from a Rovers side that had played all bar four minutes of the second half with just ten men as they lost the rock that is Tom Anderson to a deserved red card.

It brought back haunting memories of a calamitous finish to the same fixture at the same venue last season, when Rovers led 2-0 with 11 minutes to go but ended up on the losing end.

On this occasion, Rovers struggled from the start to get their passing game going against the energy and organisation of the hosts.

A press from Wycombe was expected. But rather than pressing Rovers high up the pitch – something which has seriously troubled Darren Moore's side this season – they did most of their off-the-ball work in midfield and their own half.

It involved close marking of any Rovers player that ventured near the half way line or over it, making it incredibly difficult for passes from the visitors to find their mark.

Players that consistently show accuracy in passing were made to look sloppy as Wycombe repeatedly intercepted and pushed forward themselves.

It was hard not to feel sorry for Rakish Bingham – handed his first Rovers start after a lively cameo off the bench in midweek – as he was tremendously isolated and simply could not get on the ball. He was not as much feeding off scraps than scrambling around looking for the mere sight of them.

But Wycombe were not the only side that were exceptionally organised.

In defensive terms, Rovers looked impenetrable for the vast majority of the game.

In the first half the twin towers of Anderson and Joe Wright batted away everything that was thrown at them. While Wycombe enjoyed the better of the attacking play, Seny Dieng had little to do other than mopping-up work.

Anderson’s sending off on 49 minutes looked likely to change the complexion. Caught in a battle for the ball, he lunged forward and caught the in-rushing Matt Bloomfield high and late with his studs and there was no doubting the colour of the card that would be shown.

But Rovers held firm. Donervon Daniels entered the fold and picked up where Anderson had left off - even almost scoring with his first touch as a header struck the bar.

The workrate of Rovers stepped up a considerable notch as they battled to stay level. Ben Sheaf and Ben Whiteman were key with their rushing and harrying of the opposition across the pitch.

It says plenty that while they faced plenty of pressure, Rovers did not particularly look like conceding.

Until, that is, referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the spot. Daniels had raced forward to meet a high into the box but smashed into Adebayo Akinfenwa who had stood his ground.

The nature of the impact brought the penalty decision from Salisbury but also badly hurt Daniels, who stumbled from the pitch to leave Rovers playing eight added minutes with nine men after using all their substitutions.

Jacobson dispatched the penalty with confidence to take Wycombe five points clear at the top of League One.

Rovers trudged off the pitch disconsolate and downbeat. The Adams Park hex remains.