Analysis: Burton Albion 1 Doncaster Rovers 0 - No need to despair as unbeaten start is halted

Grant McCann
Grant McCann

You can’t win them all.

But Grant McCann was understandably disappointed and frustrated after watching his Doncaster Rovers side surrender their perfect record at Burton.

The home side were hard-working and organised but they were also there for the taking.

And although Rovers fell some way below the very high standard they set at Scunthorpe in the Carabao Cup during the week, they ought to have come away from the Pirelli Stadium with at least a point.

McCann’s side had more possession, more shots and more corners.

After a slow start they grew into the game and had most of the play after the break.

But the kind of ruthlessness in front of goal and potency in the final third which had seen them net eight times in their first three games of the season evaded them.

The game hinged on a gilt-edged miss by John Marquis on the half hour.

Rovers sliced open the Brewers with a slick move but when Herbie Kane squared it for Marquis he inexplicably missed the target with the goal at his mercy.

Burton were content to sit deep and would have been forced to come out of their shells – opening up more space for the likes of James Coppinger and Mallik Wilks – had they gone behind.

But instead it was the home side who broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half when Scott Fraser did excellently to play in Liam Boyce and the Northern Ireland international fired across Marko Marosi and in off the far post.

That only encouraged Albion to sit even deeper and defend in determined fashion to protect what they had.

Joe Wright went close to an instant response when he headed Danny Andrew’s cross just inches wide.

And Wilks did manage to get in behind twice but saw his shots deflected wide as a scrappy contest played out in frustrating fashion for Rovers.

no panic

Despite McCann’s surprisingly downbeat verdict on the performance – he labelled his side’s play ‘lethargic’ and ‘too slow’ – this wasn’t a bad display from Rovers. Not at all.

It was just nowhere near the level they reached at Glanford Park.

The travelling fans’ positive reaction at the final whistle spoke volumes.

Their team had, in the main, defended very well and created more than enough opportunities to have come away with something.

This defeat will quickly be forgotten about if Rovers return to winning ways at home to Shrewsbury Town tomorrow.

STRIKE FIRST

This match clearly portrayed the importance of scoring the first goal in a match.

It was the first time this season Rovers had fallen behind in a game.

They failed to claw their way back into it, occasionally panicking in possession or choosing the wrong option.

When McCann’s men went ahead against Southend, Wycombe and Scunthorpe, one goal led to another.

Therefore Rovers’ rather slow start on Saturday is something they need to look at and improve.

When they really swarm and strangle the opposition from the word go, and strike the first blow, McCann’s Doncaster team will take some beating.