Wolves slip off the leash

I’M starting to worry about the welfare of Donny the Dog.

Because Rovers just can’t hold onto a lead.

It was the same old story on Saturday as a slick and sprightly Doncaster came very close to taming the Wolves - but not quite close enough.

First half was impressive. Second less so.

And I’m starting to wonder if Rovers might be destined to be the nearly men of 2011.

At the time I thought it was a case of rough justice against the Premier League strugglers.

To the naked eye it looked like Sam Hird had won the ball from Matt Jarvis when Wolves were handed a penalty lifeline.

But replays showed that referee Anthony Taylor got the decision spot on - like he did when he red carded George Elokobi for his wild and reckless jump into James Coppinger.

In the end a draw was probably a fair result - but that doesn’t mean that Rovers’ best chance of progressing has now gone.

There were times that Wolves were looking around at each other scratching their heads wondering how to cope with the mercurial talents of John Oster and Coppinger.

The way Doncaster reacted to going a goal down was sensational and they clearly rattled the visitors - conquerors of Chelsea just a few days earlier - during the closing stages of the first period.

And with Billy Sharp and James Hayter bang in form in front of goal there’s no reason why Rovers can’t go to Molineux and get a result.

The negative aspect from Saturday was not seeing out the game - and it’s a recurring problem.

I’ve lost count of the times Rovers have flown out of the traps and their opposition just haven’t been able to live with them - but ultimately Doncaster have not gone on to win the game.

In the majority of matches this season they’ve struck the first blow and gone ahead.

But killing teams off and closing out wins is a skill that often eludes them.

Maybe it’s an unwanted by-product of the team’s attacking instinct, which always makes them liable to concede.

Maybe it’s a fitness thing.

Whatever it’s down to, it’s becoming the bane of this season.

Rovers might have been clinical in front of goal this term but they are lacking a ruthlessness in terms of putting games to bed.

It’s one of the few facets that this team is missing because they’ve got most other things in an abundance - including skill, self-belief and scoring ability.

Doncaster’s trip to this Saturday’s opponents Reading was a watershed moment in the current campaign.

For a 20-minute period in the second half they toyed with the hosts and it was great to watch.

Reading should have been out of sight - but they were somehow able to claw back a two-goal deficit and win 4-3 on a mad afternoon at the Madejski Stadium.

Doncaster can’t afford to roll out the red carpet again when the Royals arrive in town this weekend.

And with a gruelling schedule on the horizon it’s important they pick up at least a point and keep things ticking over.

However, it won’t be easy against a Reading side who did get the better of Premier League opposition in the FA Cup by despatching West Bromwich Albion.

On Tuesday I fear the Wolves will have more bite - Donny Dog better watch himself!

Rovers 1 Reading 1

Wolves 2 Rovers 0