Doncaster Rovers 0 Huddersfield Town 2: Joe Wright sees red in defeat to Terriers
Joe Wright was sent off against his former club as Doncaster Rovers had a difficult night against Huddersfield Town.
The visitors, newly-relegated from the Premier League, offered more of a threat throughout and duly went ahead on 29 minutes through Rajiv Van La Parra’s curling effort from distance.
Juninho Bacuna steered home a second for the Terriers shortly after the re-start before Wright received his marching orders for two yellow cards, leaving Rovers to play the last half hour with ten men.
Doncaster again showed some promise in their build-up play but lacked a final ball and found it tough going trying to penetrate Jan Siewert’s well-drilled side.
Darren Moore clearly has work to do in attacking areas – as John Marquis again cut a frustrated figure.
But he will take heart from the way his side defended, kept their shape and kept going against vibrant opposition.
Moore’s first match at the Keepmoat Stadium was delayed for 15 minutes due to crowd congestion. Before kick off Rovers confirmed Jamie Smith as Moore’s assistant.
Rovers again lined up in a 4-2-3-1, occasionally resembling 4-4-1-1, with Matty Blair playing in central midfield and James Coppinger just behind Marquis.
Town’s young side started brightly and stretched Rovers from the outset.
Tom Anderson had to make an excellent block to deny Colin Quaner, Ian Lawlor parried a good attempt from Aaron Rowe, and Elias Kachunga fired narrowly wide.
Ben Sheaf tested Kamil Grabara at the other end but, up against a front three of Quaner, Van La Parra and Elias Kachunga, Rovers had their work cut out and their resistance was broken just before the half hour when Van La Parra curled home a delightful 25-yard effort.
Coppinger had Rovers’ best effort moments before half time when his rasping effort from range was tipped wide by Grabara, while Sheaf had to make a last gasp intervention to prevent Quaner finishing off a brisk counter attack.
Town doubled their lead three minutes into the second half and it was a really soft goal from Doncaster’s perspective.
Reece Brown’s floated free-kick found Bacuna at the back post and the midfielder was able to side-foot home unchallenged on the volley.
The Terriers were now firmly in control and, after Wright was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Van La Parra, Siewert was afforded the luxury of removing some of his main men.
Kieran Sadlier tried his best to make something happen in the final third as Rovers refused to lie down.
Madger Gomes should have halved the deficit late on when the ball dropped kindly for him in the box but his shot lacked conviction and was kept out by Grabara. Matty Blair also drilled a decent effort just wide.
Rovers: Lawlor, Halliday, Wright, Anderson, James, Sheaf, Blair, Gomes, Sadlier, Coppinger (Longbottom 65), Marquis. Subs not used: Jones, Crawford, May, Watters, Kiwomya, Hasani.
Huddersfield: Grabara, Rowe (High 77), Edmonds-Green, Stankovic, J Brown, R Brown, Bacuna (O’Brien 52), Daly, Kachunga, Quaner, Van La Parra (Mbenza 74). Subs not used: Coleman, Koroma.
Referee: Darren England