More to come, dealing with attention, Coppinger's reminder - the main talking points from Doncaster Rovers' superb win over Bristol Rovers

Jon Taylor celebrates his goal against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIXJon Taylor celebrates his goal against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
Jon Taylor celebrates his goal against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
How do you improve on an exciting, attack-minded, sit-up-and-take-notice performance?

You repeat it a week later and arguably even more effectively.

Doncaster Rovers built on their excellent showing at Charlton Athletic by sweeping aside a Bristol Rovers side who made a much stronger attempt at stopping them in their tracks.

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Packed with youthful exuberance and brimming with confidence, Rovers dealt with close attention from their visitors to the Keepmoat and produced another notable victory.

Rovers celebrate Taylor Richards' goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIXRovers celebrate Taylor Richards' goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
Rovers celebrate Taylor Richards' goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

They demonstrated their collective technical prowess to play their way through Bristol Rovers, craft a sackful of opportunities and run out comfortable winners.

And it helped them continue to their strong, promising start to the season.


It was a clash that began at 100 miles per hour and rarely dropped from such a tempo and intensity.

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Fejiri Okenabirhie fires on goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIXFejiri Okenabirhie fires on goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
Fejiri Okenabirhie fires on goal. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

Bristol Rovers’ hard press ensured a frenetic pace to play in the early stages until the hosts managed to find their composure on the ball.

Once Rovers discovered that flow, they began to take control of play and build their threat.

The danger from the visitors came on the counter, only for them to lack cohesion in the final third to make such breakaways count.

But it was Rovers who found what they needed in attacking areas.

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Josef Bursik grasps a ball out of the air. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIXJosef Bursik grasps a ball out of the air. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
Josef Bursik grasps a ball out of the air. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

Midway through the half they got the breakthrough when Ben Whiteman lashed a shot which deflected into the path of Joe Wright who turned home from close range.

Seven minutes later the lead was doubled when Madger Gomes smashed a half volley from 12 yards into the top corner for his fourth goal in five matches.

Just when it looked as though Rovers would be in full command, the visitors reduced the deficit. Luke Leahy connected with a bouncing ball to loft over Josef Bursik into the far corner.

It buoyed Bristol Rovers and made for a competitive game for the remainder of the half.

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Rovers though, came out strong for the second period and reestablished the cushion when Taylor Richards recovered from being tackled to pinch the ball back and finish calmly into the bottom corner.

And the game was put to bed when Jon Taylor slotted in at the back post after meeting Tyreece John-Jules’ squared pass.


There were times last season when Rovers wilted in the face of strong attention from opposition teams who sought to shut them off and cut them off at the source.

Bristol Rovers’ tactic for doing so saw them press hard in the middle of the park and with real intensity. They looked to cut off the supply out from the back and prevent any flow from beginning out of midfield.

But they failed.

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Rovers dealt with the in-your-face approach superbly, showing great composure on the ball to shrug off the attention and string passes together which helped spark attacks and also ease the intensity of the pressure.

In short, they succeeded in bypassing the approach of Bristol Rovers and managed to thrive.

As opposition teams take notice of Saturday’s performance, and the one a week earlier at Charlton Athletic, they will come up with increasingly tricky hurdles for Rovers to clear.

But so far, so good on that front from a Rovers perspective.


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Both Joe Wright and Tom Anderson have spoken recently of their desires to contribute at the other end of the pitch.

And they both showed their value in attack on Saturday.

Wright was well-placed to fire in from close range to put Rovers ahead.

And Anderson proved to be a valuable target from set pieces as he headed balls back across goal, including in the phase of play that led to Gomes’ goal.

Rovers looked a real threat from set pieces all afternoon and Wright and Anderson were an important factor in that.

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Add that to another excellent defensive showing from both men, and it was a positive afternoon’s work once more for the pair.


There was an unapologetic tone from Moore as he spoke of his frustration that Rovers did not add to their goals tally.

Given the chances missed - with Gomes, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Reece James arguably the most guilty - it is hard to disagree with the demanding manager.

It highlighted that, for their impressive and exciting performance, there is still plenty of room for improvement from this Rovers side.

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As youthful loanees find their feet as well as cohesion within the group, Rovers should only get better - which is a pretty exciting prospect.


It has been clear that sentiment has been the furthest thing from Moore’s mind when it comes to James Coppinger this season.

He may be in his final campaign but there will be favours done - not that the veteran would want it to be that way.

So he will be well aware that he will have to earn every opportunity he gets on the pitch this season.

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And he certainly made his time count on Saturday after replacing Jason Lokilo at half time.

Coppinger was superb in the second half, particularly in the patient and calm manner with which he used the ball, helping to slow down the frenetic pace of the game to something more suitable for a side leading a game.

He showed the quality on the ball that has long been his trademark, helped craft several opportunities and had a chance to get on the scoresheet.

In his longest spell of the season so far in the league, Coppinger gave a welcome reminder of what he can offer Rovers this season.

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And he did more than enough to earn more opportunities sooner rather than later.


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