Result: Doncaster Rovers 1 Gillingham 2

Enda Stevens in action for Rovers
Enda Stevens in action for Rovers

Doncaster Rovers suffered a potentially demoralising defeat to lowly Gillingham as their home woes went from bad to worse.

Luke Norris scored twice in the second half as the Gills won for the first time away from Priestfield in League One since March.

Curtis Main ended Doncaster’s goal drought at the Keepmoat Stadium with a stoppage time penalty but Rovers’ wait for a home win stretches back to September 20.

Rovers had the better of the possession and the chances against a Gillingham side happy to defend deep.

But they paid the full price for their wastefulness in front of goal as Peter Taylor’s side stretched their recent unbeaten run to six games.

Rovers settled the quicker and Paul Keegan tested Stuart Nelson’s handling from a short corner routine.

Nelson was kept busy during the opening exchanges, first saving well from James Coppinger after Curtis Main picked him out, and then Kyle Bennett, who tried his luck from the edge of the area.

Gillingham’s first threat came from a long ball over the top but Brennan Dickenson fired well over, before Luke Norris almost took advantage of some sloppy Rovers play but drilled his effort from distance just wide.

There were signs on the half hour that Rovers were starting to turn the screw, as they continued to enjoy the majority of possession.

Main cut a frustrated figure, however, as he slightly snatched at an effort from the edge of the box, before Bennett saw a deflected shot saved by the legs of Nelson.

Gillingham were on the back foot but they came within a whisker of grabbing a shock lead when Joe Martin latched onto a loose ball and fired just over from 20 yards.

Theo Robinson went close to breaking the deadlock right on half time when Bennett’s clever header played him in but he struck his effort wide of the left hand post.

Straight from the restart John Egan fired a vicious 35-yard effort inches over.

And the Gills’ lively start to the second period was rewarded when Norris converted at the back stick following a ball across the face of goal from Michael Doughty.

Rovers had lost their way and another quick counter from the visitors saw Martin send a shot just wide.

Keegan made way for Harry Forrester and with Richie Wellens dropping into the holding role, Doncaster started to enjoy more possession again.

Wellens picked out Coppinger with a delightful slide-rule pass but his effort went agonisingly wide.

The frustration was mounting for Rovers, especially when Reece Wabara sent over a good cross but Andy Butler headed wide from point blank range. Bennett then drifted in field but his powerful drive was collected at the second attempt by Nelson.

Gillingham were happy to play on the break and the decisive second goal came when Forrester gave the ball away cheaply on half way, and the ball was worked to Norris who fired home superbly from distance.

Wabara headed against the bar from Bennett’s corner in the closing stages before Robinson was upended in the box, allowing Main to halve the deficit from the spot - but it was too little, too late as Doncaster left the field to a chorus of boos.Rovers: Johnstone; Wabara, Butler, McCullough, Stevens; Coppinger, Wellens, Keegan, Bennett; Robinson, Main. Subs: Marosi, Evina, Forrester, Wakefield, De Val, Whitehouse, J McKay.

Gillingham: Nelson, Legge, Egan, Ehmer, Martin, Loft, Hessenthaler, Doughty, Dack, Dickenson, Norris. Subs: Bywater, McGlashan, Galbraith, Pritchard, Lennon, Hoyte, McDonald.