Rob Jones' bid to change Rovers' fortunes continues after a derby day defeat at Sheffield United.
Rovers played for more than an hour with ten men after Gary MacKenzie was sent off for a high challenge on Craig Alcock.
Rovers old boy Billy Sharp was among the scorers, putting the game to bed with the third after Chris Basham and Conor Sammon had already netted for the Blades.
A delightful free kick from Cameron Stewart had made life interesting for Rovers as they levelled up, only for Sammon to strike and MacKenzie to be dismissed in three minutes of horror for the visitors.
The scoreline was a harsh one for Rovers, who produced arguably their best performance under Jones, both before and after MacKenzie's dismissal.
They defended resolutely and kept the final outcome in doubt until Sharp struck. They also showed good sparks on the break.
There was an impressive debut - and a Football League one at that - for new loan signing of Keshi Anderson, whose confidence on the ball belied his lack of experience.
But the positives will offer little consolation with Rovers remaining in League One's relegation zone.
The opening quarter hour was a dire affair with both sides struggling to find any rhythm.
But the game sparked to life on 17 minutes when the Blades took the lead.
Craig Alcock raced to the byline and crossed with Basham darting in to smash home a volley from six yards out.
Rovers looked somewhat rattled after going behind but found an equaliser on 24 minutes.
Anderson was fouled on the edge of the box and Stewart stepped up to curl the free kick over the wall and into the corner, with Mark Howard unable to keep it out despite getting a hand to it.
The Blades should have been back ahead on the half hour. A superb touch from Sammon gave him time to shoot from a tight angle inside the box but his effort trickled across the goalmouth.
United were growing into the game and got their reward on 35 minutes. Sammon made a superb run to meet Paul Coutts' cross and side-foot in from eight yards.
The sitaution quickly went from bad to worse for Rovers with MacKenzie sent off just three minutes later.
From a corner, the centre half went up with his boot in an aerial challenge with Alcock and caught the full back in the chest. Referee Mark Heywood showed little hesitation in showing the red card.
Rovers readjusted with Aaron Taylor-Sinclair moving to centre half, Cedric Evina to left back and James Coppinger to right back and they saw out the half relatively untroubled.
Rob Jones threw caution to the wind at the break, replacing Paul Keegan with Richard Chaplow.
But United started the brighter and could not have come much closer to extending their lead just after the break.
Sammon produced a lovely curling strike from 25 yards that beat Thorsten Stuckmann but rattled back off the upright. The Blades won a corner in the aftermath and from it Sammon rose to flick an effort on target only for Coppinger to head off the line.
A moment of controversy denied United the chance to extend their lead on 66 minutes. Substitute Che Adams charged into the box and went down under the challenge of Taylor-Sinclair. While it appeared to be a penalty, referee Heywood booked Adams for diving.
Rovers would indeed gift their hosts a third as it transpired. Coppinger attempted a back pass from 35 yards but did not get enough power into it, allowing Sharp to nip in, round Stuckmann and slot into an empty net.
The game was finished as a contest, though it took a fine save from Stuckmann to deny Sharp a second and the Blades a fourth.
Sheffield United: Howard, Alcock (Freeman 46), Edgar, Collins, K Wallace, Flynn, Coutts (Adams 61), Basham, Baxter (Reed 56), Sharp, Sammon. Subs not used: Long, McNulty, Woolford, McGahey.
Doncaster Rovers: Stuckmann, Evina, MacKenzie, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Coppinger, Wellens (Gobern 71), Keegan (Chaplow 46), Stewart (Forrester 56), Anderson, Williams.
Subs: Marosi, P McKay, N'Guessan, Mandeville.
Referee: Mark Heywood (West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 20,869 (1,390 away)