What better way to start a new era?
Darren Ferguson got his tenure at Rovers off to the perfect start with a breathless victory at Shrewsbury Town.
Goals from James Coppinger and the tireless Keshi Anderson secured a first away win of the season for Rovers.
It was not perfect, but Ferguson never promised it would be. There was however plenty of positives and enough signs for optimism once he gets his teeth firmly into the task at hand.
And finally the horrendous luck which has blighted the club so much this season looks to have finally lifted.
The new boss spoke of certain players perhaps needing a ‘mental break’ as he hinted at changes prior to the trip to New Meadow.
The name on everyone’s lips was striker Andy Williams who has regularly looked as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. So there was no surprise when Williams was named on the bench, replaced by Nathan Tyson who offered a lively cameo off the bench at the weekend.
The changes were not limited to personnel.
He may have only had one full training session with the squad but Ferguson looks to have quickly commenced stamping a much needed identity on the side.
Rovers played with real energy within a specific style of play. Balls were played forward early, looking to exploit the pace of Tyson, Cameron Stewart and Anderson.
There was an in-your-face approach off the ball, with a high defensive line which forced the hosts back into their own half.
And Rovers displayed great fluidity and confidence. Stewart, Anderson and Richard Chaplow exchanged places in attack, on the left and at the tip of the diamond.
It made for the most entertaining first half involving Rovers for some time and signalled for optimism at the start of Ferguson’s reign.
Rovers started that reign well, attacking with real pace.
And they heralded the start of the Ferguson era in fine style with the opening goal on 13 minutes.
Stewart’s corner came out to Wellens who drilled a shot which was blocked but only into the path of Coppinger who took a touch and lashed a left footed shot into the bottom corner to justify his selection after some poor performances.
Rovers lived dangerously shortly after taking the lead with luck - for once - firmly on their side.
Thorsten Stuckmann fumbled Sullay Kaikai’s near post drive but instantly atoned by keeping out the follow up from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro who then scuffed a shot off the upright.
And moments later, Kaikai latched onto a long ball in acres of space with his shot beating Stuckmann but trickling agonisingly wide of the far post.
The equaliser did come on 28 minutes and it was a little too easy for Shrewsbury as Rovers’ set piece defending came into question once more.
Liam Lawrence whipped in a corner and Knight-Percival left Mitchell Lund standing to power an unstoppable header in at the near post.
The Shrews finished the half the stronger with Lawrence and Cole both going close to putting them ahead.
Rovers did not start the second half with the same fluidity but they enjoyed the greater threat.
Keeper Jayson Leutwiler beat Anderson to a superb through ball from Wellens in one of the better attacking moves of the period.
There was a change in approach with Rovers less eager to hit the front early and much happier to build through midfield, looking for the short passes to get in behind the hosts.
It meant they enjoyed the greater possession for much of the period, restricting Shrewsbury to very few attacks.
Larnell Cole drilled narrowly over from the edge of the box in one such threatening moment while substitute Tyrone Barnett saw his header from a corner blocked by his own man Kaikai.
Stewart curled a free kick narrowly over from 25 yards before Rovers grabbed the winner four minutes from time.
Stewart galloped forward and slotted in Anderson who lashed home from ten yards.
It looked immediately as though Shrewsbury had denied Ferguson a dream start when Matt Tootle powered in a header from a Junior Brown cross only for the flag to go up for offside.
A change of luck at last for a side who have long bemoaned their ill fortune. And the Ferguson era begins will smiles all round.
Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Tootle, Smith, Knight-Percival, Brown, Ogogo, Black (Clark 62), Lawrence, Kaikai, Cole, Akpa Akpro (Barnett 72). Subs not used: Rowley, Sadler, Ellis, Collins, McAlinden.
Doncaster Rovers: Stuckmann, Lund, MacKenzie (McCullough 72), Butler, Evina, Wellens, Coppinger, Stewart, Chaplow (Middleton 64), Anderson, Tyson (Williams 88). Subs not used: Marosi, Taylor-Sinclair, Forrester, N’Guessan.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset)
Attendance: 4,735 (250 away)