Richie Wellens proud of his players despite Doncaster Rovers' defeat at Plymouth Argyle

Richie Wellens said Doncaster Rovers produced their best performance of the season in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

Richie Wellens. Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images
Richie Wellens. Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Jordy Hiwula netted his first goal for Rovers to put them ahead early in the second half.

But high-flying Plymouth scored two penalties to leave Rovers pointless from five away games.

Luke Jephcott converted from the spot after Kyle Knoyle fouled Ryan Broom and former Rovers loanee Conor Grant held his nerve in stoppage time after Pontus Dahlberg was adjudged to have brought down Kieran Agard.

Wellens, who was sent off by referee Trevor Kettle for his protests, said he was proud of his players’ performance at Home Park.

“That was a different class performance,” he said.

“When we went 1-0 up we just changed a little bit and we went a little bit too passive.

“They’re second or third in the league so that’s what we’re up against, and I thought we were better than them.

“We created chances and we could’ve had a lot of goals today, away from home against a team who [...] the only thing I’m jealous of is where they are. They’ve got a stable manager at a stable club with a way of playing and you can see the identity.

“We’ve come here today and it’s Jordy Hiwula’s third game back, Joe Dodoo’s third game back and we were better than them in our shape and the way that we played.

“That gives me a lot of satisfaction going forward. I thought it was a really good performance. My only negative would be that we got a little bit panicky when we went 1-0 up. We’ve got to get that maturity to keep doing the same things that’s got us 1-0 up.

“My players were so good but we’ve got no reward for it,” he added. We’ve just got to keep going.

“I think that was our best performance of the season, especially in creating chances. Hiwula could’ve had a hat trick, Dodoo could’ve had one or two, Aidan Barlow comes on and could’ve scored a couple of headers.

“I’m disappointed with the result but really proud of the players’ performance.”

On the penalty decisions, Wellens said: “Is it a penalty? It probably is a penalty but week in week out you will see people getting to the byline and pulling a cross back and the defender going into him and it won’t be given.

“And the second one’s not a penalty. Pontus says he hasn’t touched him and I just watched it back and he hasn’t touched him, the lad’s dived.”