An inspired goalkeeping performance denied Rovers as they were beaten by Plymouth Argyle.
Doncaster Rovers 0
Plymouth Argyle 1 (Bradley 49)
Sunday 26 March 2017
Sky Bet League Two
Attendance | 7,414 (900 away)
Doncaster Rovers missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of Sky Bet League Two, as second-placed Plymouth Argyle claimed all three points at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Defender Sonny Bradley’s 49th minute header gave the visitors the lead which they saw out, Rovers created the best chances but could not find a way past goalkeeper Luke McCormick.
The first real chance of the half came for the hosts, an interchange of passing between Matty Blair and John Marquis saw the latter fire a low ball into the box looking for strike partner Alfie May, but the former non-league striker was inches away from connecting with the ball.
Rovers were on top and Darren Ferguson’s men created the next opportunity of the game, a lofted cross from Tommy Rowe was met by the towering Marquis but he could not direct his header on goal.
On the 39th minute, Rovers created the best chance of the half as a whipped cross from Blair was headed goalwards by Marquis, but McCormick in the Argyle goal produced an impressive save to keep the scores level.
Three minutes later McCormick had to be on his toes once again, a cushioned header by James Coppinger was picked up by Everton loanee Conor Grant, but his dipping effort was caught by the Argyle captain.
On the stroke of half time Ferguson’s side should have been a goal to the good, some excellent play between Marquis and Rowe saw the former Peterborough man fire a ball across the box to Coppinger.
His side-footed effort however was blocked on the line before the ball eventually popped up to Rowe, but the midfielder couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Half-time | Doncaster Rovers 0 Plymouth Argyle 0
It was a nightmare start to the second half for Rovers as Argyle took the lead in the 49th minute, an inswinging corner from Graham Carey was met by the head of Bradley who powered his effort past a helpless Ian Lawlor.
On the hour mark Rovers had a corner of their own, a whipped cross from Coppinger was glanced wide by Rowe as the hosts pressed for an equaliser.
A well-worked routine from a free kick was picked up by Coppinger on the edge of the Argyle box, but on the half-volley the captain smashed his effort just over McCormick’s crossbar.
McCormick was in inspired form for the visitors and he showed his worth for Derek Adams’ side in the 65th minute, a jinxing run from May saw him fire a ball into the box which again dropped to Coppinger, but the keeper managed to flick his effort over the bar.
As Rovers began to throw everything at the visitors they were denied once more, a whipped cross into the box by Marquis was knocked down Butler who was up from the back, the ball was picked up by Rowe but his effort was once again cleared off the line.
Two minutes into additional time Ferguson’s men were on the attack once again, a deep cross to the back post from McSheffrey was met on the half-volley by Coppinger, but the skipper could not direct his shot on target.
Full-time | Doncaster Rovers 0 Plymouth Argyle 1
Rovers XI | Lawlor, Mason (McSheffrey 80’), Alcock (McCullough 54’), Butler, Baudry, Blair, Rowe, Grant, Coppinger (C), May (Williams 72’), Marquis.
Rovers Unused Subs | Marosi,, Middleton, Evina, Lund.
Argyle XI | McCormick (C), Miller, Sarcevic, Spencer (Taylor 81’), Carey (Blissett 90’), Jervis, Bradley, Kennedy (Songo’o 74’), Threlkeld, Fox, Sokolik.
Argyle Unused Subs | Sawyer, Slew, Donaldson, Dorel.