LIVE: Doncaster Rovers v Wigan Athletic: Build-up and full match coverage
Doncaster Rovers begin a formidable run of fixtures with the visit of automatic promotion chasing Wigan Athletic – and you can follow the action as it happens.
Join us from the Eco-Power Stadium as Rovers welcome a Latics side sitting just outside the top two but with five matches in hand over some of their rivals.
We will bring full coverage of this afternoon's game via our blog service below. Just remember to REFRESH regularly for the latest.
Rovers 1 Wigan Athletic 2
Last updated: Saturday, 15 January, 2022, 17:24
GOALS: Power (10), Keane (53), Bogle (61)
ROVERS: Jones; Hasani, Knoyle, Olowu, Horton; Smith, Galbraith, Rowe; Barlow, Agard, Dodoo. Subs: Bottomley, Blythe, Seaman, Greaves, Ravenhill, Kuleya, Bogle.
WIGAN: Amos; Darikwa, Whatmough, Watts, Pearce (Edwards 81); Power, Naylor; Massey (Kerr 81), Keane, McClean; Lang. Subs: Jones, Bayliss, Jones, Aasgaard, Humphrys
Better, but not enough
It may have delivered the same result but the performance from Rovers was so, so much better. And the base for that was fight and spirit that has been all too absent in recent weeks.
They approached it sensibly, with directness and endeavour in the final third, picked up second balls and tried their best to remain on the front foot.
Strength in front of goal told in the end and brought the result probably everyone was expected.
We’ve asked for signs of life from Rovers and they’ve delivered it in this one.
But the severity of the situation has only been highlighted with a glance at the league table to see Rovers now sit ten points from safety.
5.00pm All over
4.54pm Added time
86min Just wide
Max Power sees a low shot deflect just past the post
85min Yellow card
Ben Amos, Wigan Athletic
84min Yellow card
Joe Dodoo, Doncaster Rovers
AJ Greaves replaces Tommy Rowe
There’s been an interesting battle playing out regarding the towel used by Wigan’s Max Power before he takes a long throw.
Gary McSheffrey instructed one of Rovers’ youth team players to remove it, and he took it to the Rovers bench. That brought over the referee to warn McSheffrey while Wigan coach James Beattie returned the towel to its place.
Then a Rovers supporter ran out of the stand, pinched the towel and retreated.
Again, that brought the referee over. He summoned stadium security to inform them they needed to ensure there was no repeat.
Must admit, I didn’t know it was the referee’s job to protect a team’s equipment.
70min Yellow card
Ethan Galbraith, Doncaster Rovers
Charlie Seaman replaces Lirak Hasani
64min Big save
Will Keane holds the ball up well on the edge of the box for Wigan before smashing a shot which Louis Jones pushed away strongly.
61min GGGGGGOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!! ROVERS!
They’ve got one back!
A free kick from wide left was sent in and flicked home in a crowded box.
It’s been credited to Omar Bogle but I’d like to see it again.
Where to from here?
Omar Bogle replaces Aidan Barlow
53min Goal Wigan
Will Keane heads in from close range.
It was a superb ball into the box by James McClean and Keane made the space to head home.
Mountain to climb.
Another good opportunity for the visitors as the ball drops to Keane 12 yards out and he slams a low shot but Joseph Olowu slides in to block.
49min A bit easy
Wigan snake through Rovers with James McClean carrying the ball into the box. He plays the ball into Will Keane who can only stab a tame effort which Louis Jones holds easily.
4.08pm Back underway
Behind, but doing well
You feared the worst when Wigan took the lead after ten minutes, putting an end to what had been a fairly positive start from Rovers.
But, to their credit, they’ve battled and fought and been determined to get on the front foot and stay on it as much as possible.
They’ve played directly into the front men and picked up the second balls superbly, particularly in the later stages of the half when they were the much more threatening side.
There’s a long way to go and Wigan look dangerous with every attack. But this game is far from over.
3.51pm That’s the break
45+2min Yellow card
Lirak Hasani, Doncaster Rovers
3.47pm Added time
35min Great chance
Rovers’ promising spell continues. Joe Dodoo collects a loose ball and pushes past players into the box. He cuts a low pass back for the on-rushing Tommy Rowe, who sees his shot blocked by Tendayi Darikwa.
Rovers have got the bit between their teeth again - and Barlow certainly has. He produces a cheeky backheel to try to work his way through a crowded area and is felled on the edge of the box, with the referee somehow not signalling for a foul. Rovers recycle the ball and a Matt Smith cross is millimetres from the head of Joe Dodoo.
31min A chance
And it’s good work from Aidan Barlow. He collected a hopeful ball forward from Kyle Knoyle and had one intention as he marched to 20 yards and cracked a low shot which Ben Amos held well.
27min That bright start on the ball?
Yeah, that’s gone now. Rovers are struggling for anything meaningful by the way of possession.
22min Goal...but no
Callum Lang is played clean through for Wigan but the flag is up before he puts the ball in the back of the net.
18min Should be two
James McClean put Branden Horton on his backside before chipping a ball into the box for Will Keane, free in space at the back post. The towering forward rose with the goal at his mercy but headed over.
A huge let off for Rovers who just cannot halt the flow of Wigan attacks.
12min How will they respond?
It had been a fairly positive start for Rovers, in attacking terms at least. They had been plenty of urgency about their possession play and some of the balls into the front players were good. The intent was the most impressive thing.
They’ll get nowhere if they retreat into their shells at this stage.
10min GOAL Wigan
All so simple for the visitors as Max Power flicks the ball in from close range from a James McClean corner.
9min Very close
Wigan break after a Rovers attack and Tom Pearce is inches away from giving them the lead. He rescued a crossfield ball, put Lirak Hasani on his backside and drilled a shot just past the far post.
On the Rovers attack, they flooded forward really well but there was hesitance from Aidan Barlow when he picked up the ball on the corner of the box. He looked to be trying to work space but only gave Wigan the chance to block him out.
And thankfully for Rovers, it was. Massey again picked the ball up in acres of space on the left and opted to go for goal, blasting well over the bar.
3min Big early chance
The visitors show their threat early as Gavin Massey gallops forward down the left. He slips in Max Power on the overlap and the ball is flashed across the face of goal where Will Keane just fails to get a touch on the ball.
1min This is how they’ve lined up
Rovers have gone with this system and line-up, seeing Lirak Hasani at right back and Kyle Knoyle shifting to centre half.
Team is in
And it’s FOUR changes from the side that started against Fleetwood last week.
New signing Kieran Agard starts up front while Joe Dodoo comes back into the side along with Louis Jones and Lirak Hasani.
Ro-Shaun Williams and Jordy Hiwula miss out entirely and Omar Bogle drops to the bench while Pontus Dahlberg saw his loan ended.
And the visitors
We are on
With Doncaster bathed in freezing fog and temperatures struggling to rise, we’ve had a couple of pitch inspections already but the game is on.