Rovers begin 2016 with a bang as good away form continues.
Southend United – 0
Doncaster Rovers – 3 (Williams, 44; Taylor-Sinclair, 54, Tyson (pen), 58)
Sky Bet League One
Saturday January 2nd 2016 (3pm)
Rovers moved to the top half of the table, for the first time, since the opening day of the season, after a 3-0 victory at Southend.
Andy Williams, Aaron Taylor Sinclair and Nathan Tyson, all netted for Darren Ferguson’s side, who duly closed the gap on their opponents to three points.
Rovers were comfortable for most of the first half, playing some brilliant football but lacked the cutting edge early on. Despite being second best, Southend had the games first real chance on the half hour mark, when Jack Payne’s deflected effort forced Thorsten Stuckmann to make a save at full stretch.
His opposite number – the highly rated Daniel Bentley – was rarely tested in the first period until the away side were rewarded for their positive approach just before half time, when Tyson flashed a ball across the face of the goal and in form Williams was there to net his 13th goal of the season.
Despite Phil Brown’s side’s best efforts to respond immediately, Rovers managed to keep the lead, going in to the break ahead.
Half time – United 0-1 ROVERS
In the second half Ferguson’s side were ruthless from the off, and enjoyed one of their best spells of the season.
Firstly Paul Keegan looked to try and better his free kick scored at Burton with a strike from 30 yards, that had goalkeeper Bentley beaten, but he saw his strike graze the outside post. Then Conor Grant forced a save off Bentley, before the returning Luke McCullough had a headed effort cleared off the bar.
Eventually in the 54th minute, Rovers pressure paid off when Taylor-Sinclair volleyed home a well-worked Rovers set piece routine.
The visitors continued to attack the Shrimpers defence and good pressing from Tyson forced Bentley into a mistake. Tyson then managed to find Williams, who was about to tap into an empty net, but Adam Thompson brought him down for a penalty before the hour mark.
Tyson, with his fifth goal of the campaign, stepped up and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to seal all three points and send the away end into raptures.
The home side threatened the Rovers goal a few times, as they tried to force a way back into the match, but their efforts were not to be, as Ferguson’s remained unbeaten on the road since losing to Millwall in late October.
Full time - United 0-3 ROVERS
Rovers line up- Stuckmann, Alckock, McCullough, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Evina (Lund 81), Keegan, Coppinger (Middleton 81), Grant, Tyson, Williams.
Southend line up - Bentley, White, Thompson, Barrett, Coker, Rea (Deegan 53), Atkinson (Worrall 41), Leonard, Payne, Mooney (Pigott 70), Hunt.
Rovers Subs- Marosi, MacKenzie, Chaplow, Mandeville, J. McKay.
Southend subs- Prosser, Smith, McLaughlin, O’Neil.
Rovers- Alcock 84
Southend - Leonard 50, Thompson 57, White 58, Deegan 90.
Attendance – 7134 (376 away)
Referee – Mr Collins