Match report: Doncaster Rovers 2 QPR 1

Doncaster Rovers' Paul Quinn (centre) celebrates his winning goal against QPR with his teammates James Coppinger (left) and Richie Wellens.
Doncaster Rovers' Paul Quinn (centre) celebrates his winning goal against QPR with his teammates James Coppinger (left) and Richie Wellens.

Can we play a top team every week?

As Doncaster closed out their most impressive, and arguably least expected, win of the season with minimum fuss on Saturday, the Keepmoat Stadium bounced with noise and pride.

The only thing missing was the aforementioned chant.

But it’s a thought that must be going through Paul Dickov and his players’ minds - because Rovers genuinely seem to reserve their best for the cream of the Championship.

Queens Park Rangers’ star studded squad arrived in South Yorkshire with a reputation for getting the job done. Wins of the one nil variety are their speciality.

So when Charlie Austin rather fortuitously put the visitors ahead just before the interval, courtesy of a Ross Turnbull mistake, the script appeared written. Only Doncaster hadn’t read it.

Dickov’s side were unrecognisable from the lifeless display they mustered up in midweek at Charlton.

Unfortunate to be behind in the first place, their organised and tenacious display reaped its reward in the shape of a second half Theo Robinson cross-come-shot and a dramatic late winner from Paul Quinn - his first ever goal for Doncaster - as Rovers came from behind to stun Harry Redknapp’s promotion chasers.

Like they did at home to fellow high fliers Leicester and Nottingham Forest, Rovers had produced a performance straight out of their manager’s manual - one full of discipline and desire.

It was like chalk and cheese compared to Charlton in midweek.

“It’s something that really frustrates me to tell you the truth,” said Dickov afterwards, on his side’s tendency to perform against the top sides.

“But if we have a go and we work as hard as we did today, we’ve got a good chance of winning games.

“When we’re not quite at it, that’s when we struggle.

“We’ve got to strive to keep that level of performance up as much as we can.

“I asked for a response. We were all disappointed with Tuesday night [at Charlton],” he added.

“We let the fans down, the ones that made the long journey down there. That win was for them.

“Tactically, without the ball, I thought we were fantastic.

“We sat off them when we needed to and when we pressed them we did it with real purpose.

“It’s something we work on a lot.

“I thought with the ball we caused them a lot of problems.

“We felt slightly aggrieved at half time coming in one nil down.

“We more than matched them in the first half and I just wanted the players to show a bit more belief when they had the ball.

“I wanted us to have a real go in the second half and to a man I thought they were great.”

Rovers were indeed unfortunate to go in at the break a goal down.

They had rarely threatened Rob Green in the Rangers’ goal but, unlike at the Valley, they were more willing to make life difficult for the opposition.

Doncaster defended better as a team - and they were just starting to ask a few questions of their own when Austin’s tame shot squirmed through Turnbull’s hands to break the deadlock.

However, the home side were not phased by the setback.

There was a real purpose about Rovers’ play after the break. And it didn’t take them long to level.

Robinson cut in from the right and curled home a left-footed effort from the angle of area.

Whether he meant it was irrelevant - the goal visibly galvanised Doncaster and gave them the belief they could surprise another side riding high in the Championship.

Orchestrated by the superb Richie Wellens, who outshone Joey Barton in the midfield battle, Rovers now had an element of control, although Rangers still threatened on the break.

Substitute Junior Hoilett and Clint Hill both went close for the visitors - but it was Quinn who proved to be the unlikely matchwinner, climbing well to meet Mark Duffy’s corner and plant a header beyond Green.

It was the first time this season that Rovers had come from behind to claim even a point, let alone win a game.

After a run of just one win in six, it was a timely victory which should really boost confidence.

Now they need to show the same kind of spirit and desire against the sides in the lower reaches of this league - starting at Birmingham tomorrow night.