ANALYSIS & HIGHLIGHTS: Doncaster Rovers 3 Crewe Alexandra 2

Doncaster's players celebrate Andy Williams' last minute winner
Doncaster's players celebrate Andy Williams' last minute winner

Stood suited and booted in his technical area, Darren Ferguson plainly refused the option of an overcoat or umbrella as the heavens opened.

By 90 minutes the Scot represented the proverbial drowned rat, now also in possession of a hefty dry-cleaning bill to boot.

He had watched his side play very well but go behind against the run of play. After levelling Rovers were then frustrated by a plucky Crewe outfit as the game seemingly headed for a fairly run-of-the-mill 1-1 draw.

So when Callum Saunders - the son of former Rovers boss Dean - came off the bench to tap home what looked like a last minute winner, Ferguson would have been forgiven for thinking it was simply not his day.

His Rovers team, however, had not read the same script as Saunders.

In the best finish to a game ever seen at the Keepmoat Stadium, super sub Cameron Stewart not only responded in kind with a sublime free kick but Andy Williams, deep into stoppage time, claimed Doncaster’s seventh win from 11 games under Ferguson with virtually the last kick.

It was a comeback that was both stirring and sensational to watch from a team that, in the space of less than two months, has been transformed from surprise relegation candidates to potential play-off contenders.

Ferguson has got this team going all right. Confidence is flowing. And on the evidence of the last three matches - which have also seen Rovers recover from losing positions to draw at high flying Coventry City and knock a rejuvenated Cambridge United out of the FA Cup - they do not know when they are beaten.

It’s all a far cry from the timid way Doncaster began this campaign and Ferguson deserves huge credit for the way he has gone about reversing this club’s ailing fortunes.

His decision not to wear an overcoat in the teeming rain, he later revealed, was one based purely on superstition. His favourite matchday suit, it seems, is working a treat.

Doncaster's Conor Grant equalises

Doncaster's Conor Grant equalises

But, make no mistake about it, Rovers’ revival under their new boss is in no way down to luck, chance or indeed a choice of clothing.

Ferguson’s presence, pro-active management style and sharp decision-making have woken this team up from its slumber.

They now have shape, purpose, belief and a very clear method of playing: get the ball forward quickly, press the opposition and play a high line.

To put Doncaster’s turnaround in form into context, it took them 33 games prior to Ferguson’s arrival to rack up the same number of wins (7) that the Scot has recorded in his first 11 matches in charge.

Cameron Stewart equalises with a free kick

Cameron Stewart equalises with a free kick

In the 16 games prior to Ferguson’s arrival, Rovers scored 11 goals. They have now scored 11 in their last four.

Doncaster showcased their newfound confidence during a dominant opening quarter on Saturday - but did not make it count. They closed Crewe down with energy and vigour, and came closest to breaking the deadlock from a clever set piece routine, a theme of the afternoon, when Williams latched onto James Coppinger’s short corner but saw his low shot kept out by Ben Garratt.

It was completely against the run of play when Crewe went ahead on 26 minutes. Ryan Colclough probed on the edge of the area before cleverly playing in Adam King who crossed for Marcus Haber to tap home from two yards out.

Rather than Rovers’ heads dropping, chests were pushed out. Nathan Tyson somehow skyed an effort from point blank range after being picked out by Coppinger but within minutes they were level when another Coppinger cross was deflected perfectly into the path of Conor Grant to volley home his third goal in two games.

Thorsten Stuckmann, up to this point, had only had to pick the ball out of his net following Haber’s opener. But the big German had to be at his best before the interval, as Crewe visibly grew in confidence.

First he denied Colclough and then Ryan Lowe with a double save before another full length stop kept out King’s effort from the angle of the box.

Doncaster's players celebrate Conor Grant's equaliser

Doncaster's players celebrate Conor Grant's equaliser

In worsening weather conditions, the game became more disjointed after the break and the more clear cut chances began to dry up - unlike a sodden Ferguson who threw the dice in the closing stages by replacing Mitchell Lund with the more attack-minded Stewart.

Stewart’s impact was almost immediate. He picked out Williams with a perfect cross but the striker could not direct his header on target.

A stalemate was on the cards until Crewe reserved their best move of the game for the last minute. The impressive Colclough started it and Saunders finished it. Incredibly, Doncaster were staring down the barrel of an undeserved defeat. But they had other ideas.

Stewart curled home a delightful free kick from 25 yards to equalise and, with the last attack of the game, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair tossed the ball forward and Williams did the rest.

The comeback sparked scenes of wild celebration - and there was nothing lucky about it.

the teams

Rovers: Stuckmann 7, Lund 6 (Stewart 71, 7), Alcock 6, Butler 6, Taylor-Sinclair 7, Evina 7, Grant 8, Coppinger 8, Middleton 7, Tyson 6, Williams 7. Subs not used: Marosi, McCullough, Keegan, Whitehouse, Chaplow, Main.

Crewe: Garratt 7, Turton 7, Ajayi 6, Nugent 6, Guthrie 6, Jones 6, Bingham 6, Colclough 8, King 6 (Inman 70), Haber 6, Lowe 6 (Saunders 85). Subs not used: Cooper, Fox, Baillie, Ng, Nizic.

Attendance: 5,342