Doncaster Rovers 2 AFC Wimbledon 0: James Coppinger's class helps lacklustre Rovers into FA Cup second round
When it comes to righting a few wrongs for Doncaster Rovers, there is one man that can be relied upon.
And James Coppinger produced a finish of real quality to put Rovers into the second round of the FA Cup for the third consecutive season.
His goal on 52 minutes came against the run of play in a tie where Rovers had be decidedly second best and more than a little lacklustre.
But as he raced onto Jon Taylor's fine through ball, Coppinger produced class where little had previously been seen, setting himself superbly and clipping a shot beyond Wimbledon keeper Nathan Trott.
And the veteran played a major role in the second, putting the ball on a plate for Rakish Bingham to grab his first goal for the club and effectively settle a tie that had been far from comfortable.
The first half was an underwhelming affair from a Rovers perspective as they struggled for a foothold in the game.
Wimbledon pressed much higher up the pitch than in the original tie and it proved an unsettling experience which Rovers struggled to shake themselves out of.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the play, getting men into advanced areas and taking advantage of more unconvincing play at the back from Rovers.
There was more energy and zip to Wimbledon's play with Rovers sloppy and sluggish.
Joe Pigott and Mitch Pinnock both had good chances for the visitors after good play while Kwesi Appiah rifled off the post from 15 yards.
Coppinger’s goal certainly settled things for Rovers, who suddenly began to show the quality on the ball that has been a major component of their play this season.
Taylor and Ben Sheaf both went close to adding to Rovers’ score as they began to flood forward with greater regularity.
And the lead was doubled 20 minutes from time. Coppinger wrestled clear of his man on the right to go clear before centring for Bingham to slot in from five yards.
Taylor saw a goalbound shot blocked with a fine header from Ryan Delaney as Wimbledon wilted.
Sheaf saw a header cleared off the line before Rovers saw out the game in real comfort that could hardly have been foreseen in the opening period.
Rovers: Dieng; Halliday, Wright, Anderson, James; Sheaf, Whiteman; Taylor (Sadlier 90), Coppinger (May 77), Gomes; Thomas (Bingham 67). Subs not used: Lawlor, Daniels, Amos, Greaves.
Wimbledon: Trott; O’Neill, Delaney, Thomas (Kalambayi 76), Osew; Wagstaff, Pinnock, Hartigan (Sanders 80), Reilly (McLoughlin 67); Apiah, Pigott. Subs not used: McDonnell, Guinness-Walker, Robinson, Madelin.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire)
Att: 3,413 (181 away)