Ruthlessness delivered in spades as Doncaster Rovers roar at Peterborough United in Boxing Day bonanza
It was all Doncaster Rovers wanted for Christmas - and they got bags of it on Boxing Day.
The streak of ruthlessness they have been lacking for the past two or so months reemerged in devastating fashion as they swept aside a Peterborough United outfit that started the day in the automatic promotion places.
It was a performance built on tremendous defensive effort and phenomenal organisation, with composure and smart play both on and off the ball laying the ground work for a brilliant win.
It allowed Peterborough's own ghost of seasons past came back to haunt them once again.
One-time Posh fringe player Kieran Sadlier again showed them what they had with two excellent goals – taking his tally to four from his last three matches against his former club.
And skipper Ben Whiteman struck a beauty to wrap up the points - deservedly so.
Rovers worked their socks off for 90-plus energy-sapping minutes to nullify for the second time this season the lethal threat of Posh’s Marcus Maddision, Ivan Toney and Mo Eisa.
The pressure from the hosts was there and pretty much constant. That Seny Dieng’s one quality save of note came in the dying moments says everything about the defensive performance from the visitors.
Joe Wright and, in particular, Tom Anderson were superb. Twin towers in the heart of defence. Anderson produced two goalline clearances of the highest order.
Darren Moore had shuffled his two midfield banks, with adding energy and legs firmly in his mind. Ben Sheaf pushed into the attacking three, with James Coppinger dropping to the bench, while Madger Gomes partnered the returning Whiteman in the sitting two.
The energy saw Rovers close down the opposition superbly, allowing them to urge forward on the counter, which brought plenty of threat of their own.
The opening goal – when Sadlier lashed in from 25 yards after a lay-off from Sheaf – gave them something to work with.
And Sadlier’s second, a smart near post finish from a Jon Taylor corner, gave them some level of comfort, which was made security when Whiteman smashed in from 25 yards himself.
Now let us see how long this festive spirit can be stretched out for.