Analysis: Job done against Yeovil - but plenty of room for improvement

Mark Duffy celebrates his late winner with Luke McCullough and Reece Wabara.
Mark Duffy celebrates his late winner with Luke McCullough and Reece Wabara.

Had you offered Rovers a scrappy, unconvincing win before Friday night’s visit of bottom side Yeovil, they would have bitten your hand off.

They got exactly that.

The wins had dried up for Doncaster ever since Federico Macheda returned to Manchester United at the start of last month.

Lest not forget, Rovers don’t make a habit of beating Yeovil either.

So the scrappy, unconvincing win that unfolded at the Keepmoat Stadium - as lucky omen Macheda made his Doncaster return - was reason enough to be cheerful.

But, make no mistake about it, nobody at Rovers will be getting carried away on the basis of that performance.

As injuries continue to decimate Paul Dickov’s resources, the fact that Rovers ground out their fourth win of the campaign without playing particularly well will please their boss immeasurably.

But when he de-briefs his squad on the display he’ll be desperate to know why they were so keen to make life hard for themselves.

He’ll know that had they faced anybody other than shot shy Yeovil, a side that look destined to struggle at this level, they’d have been staring at a fifth straight game without a win.

The excellent Mark Duffy was the hero, stroking home a sublime free kick in the closing stages when it looked like the chance of victory had headed down the tunnel with the red-carded Dean Furman seconds earlier.

But it proved to be a very rare moment of genuine quality during a scrappy encounter in which Rovers started brightly but fizzled out as the game wore on.

Dickov was somewhat perplexed at why his team started the game on the front foot, made it count by scoring an early goal, but then proceeded to take their foot entirely off the accelerator and almost go into reverse, gifting Yeovil possession at times and inviting the Glovers back into the game - an invitation they took before Duffy’s late winner.

He will also be concerned at the rate at which his side is conceding goals from set pieces. It’s becoming the norm, and it’s a pattern unlikely to be reversed while big men Rob Jones and Chris Brown remain sidelined.

Two big positives were two performances at opposite ends of the field.

Ross Turnbull continued to show his worth with a commanding display between the sticks, while Federico Macheda’s link up play was excellent.

Macheda made the ball stick and rarely gave it away.

Collectively, that was something Rovers only managed to do for the first half of the first half - and standards must be raised at Charlton if the unbeaten run is to continue.