Doncaster Rovers boosted their chances of avoiding relegation by sweeping aside FA Cup-holders Wigan at the Keepmoat with a majestic performance by James Coppinger and two goals from Chris Brown.
Paul Dickov’s men were looking to stop their run of defeats as they welcomed high-flying Wigan.
Doncaster, looking to drag themselves out of the relegation zone, had new-boy Tamas starting.
Wigan were the first to create a chance as McCann picked out Browning down the right and his cross was blocked for the corner. Watson lofted in the resulting set-piece but Barnett’s effort sailed well over Turnbull’s bar in the fourth minute.
Coppinger worked space well for himself on the right, cut inside onto his left foot and curled in a testing shot which just went inches wide of Al Habsi’s right-hand post.
Doncaster’s pressure paid off as they went ahead. Keegan picked out BROWN with a beautiful crossfield ball and the 29-year-old striker slid, unmarked, to connect with the delivery and guide it past the out-stretched left hand of Al Habsi to give Rovers a seventh minute lead.
Wigan attempted to level as Powell, on loan from Manchester United, latched onto a long throughball but sent his lob over.
Coppinger went on another mazy run and was gliding past several challenges before he was brought down for a free-kick 30 yards out. However, Husband’s searching cross was just ahead of the on-rushing Tamas.
The game reached an aggressive tempo as several challenges went in and referee Mr Hill was not making any friends from the Keepmoat faithful, particularly when a tackle on Forrester went unpunished.
The game continued at a frenetic pace as the impressive Coppinger threaded in a brilliant ball from the by-line, however, nobody managed to get onto the end of his drilled-in cross in the 38th minute as Wigan managed to clear.
Coppinger’s attempted volley did not have the right amount of purchase as Al Habsi collected comfortably. Maynard, who was earlier pulled over by Tamas for a yellow card for the Rovers debutant, surged to the by-line and drove in a ball from the right which evaded the out-stretched arm of Turnbull but nobody managed to get on the end of the delivery.
Brown had another header well blocked at the far post as Doncaster went in at half-time1-0 up to rapturous applause.
The Latics attacked from the off in the second half, winning a corner which Watson took and Barnett headed over thanks to a deflection.
McCann drilled in a ball from the left into the path of Powell, but the young midfielder could only skew his first-time effort well wide.
But Wigan found themselves 2-0 down as Coppinger and Wellens combined expertly down the right. The ball bounced up in the air from an attempted Wigan tackle as Wellens struck it first time but saw his close range effort saved. However, COPPINGER was the grateful receiver as he managed to get in a sliding shot goalwards. The effort just crept over the line in the 52nd minute despite the desperate attempts from the away side to clear. Debate rang around the stadium as to if Wellens was infact the man who got the final touch with his chest.
Coppinger jinked his way into the area and went down under a challenge but penalty appeals failed.
Rovers were attacking with purpose and won a penalty after a surging run from Husband down the left saw the full-back brought down.
BROWN stepped up in the 69th minute and drove a low shot underneath the right hand of Al Habsi for Rovers’ third of the game with their first penalty of the season.
Link-up play between Wellens and Keegan drove on the hosts as Wigan struggled to cope with the attacking intent of a vintage Coppinger performance and the pacy Forrester.
Keegan was taken off following a booking and received a standing ovation as South African midfielder Furman entered the fray.
Dickov made another change as Cotterill came on for the impressive Forrester to shore up the midfield
Wellens was another to receive a standing ovation as he left the field for substitute De Val in the final few minutes for the home side.
The win put Doncaster level on points with Charlton, who had a game in hand and a better goal difference, as they remained in the drop-zone four points clear of bottom two Yeovil and Barnsley.