Rovers FT: Bolton 3 Doncaster 0

Doncaster Rovers players pay their respects to the late Nelson Mandela before their match at Bolton.

Doncaster Rovers players pay their respects to the late Nelson Mandela before their match at Bolton.

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Doncaster Rovers failed to continue the momentum gathered against QPR and Birmingham.

On their first ever visit to the Reebok Stadium, they found themselves on the back foot against a rejuvenated Bolton side almost from the off.

There was an early sniff for Wanderers, as the home side enjoyed possession, but the offside flag went up against Mason.

Moritz, playing just behind Mason, then drifted off his man but his volley from distance went well wide.

A cross from the right then almost dropped for ex-Doncaster defender Mills, before Rovers cleared.

It was an inauspicious start from the away side, setting up two banks of four and defending first and foremost.

Macheda and then Duffy were guilty of giving away possession cheaply in rare forays forward.

Just before the 20-minute mark Rovers registered their first attempt. Duffy drifted a corner in from the right and Robinson rose impressively only to see his header come back off the post.

As the game showed signs of opening up, Moritz crossed from the left but Pratley’s first time volley fizzed just wide.

The home side continued to look the more dangerous. Khumalo blocked superbly as Pratley broke into the box and let fly, before Moritz saw his ambitious attempt deflected just over.

Rovers were struggling to get a foothold and Pratley again tried his luck from distance, this time his 40 yard effort went just over.

It was no surprise when the hosts eventually did break the deadlock.

Stevens was guilty of giving it away under no pressure, Bolton worked an opening for MASON and his effort deflected off McCullough past Turnbull.

It wasn’t long before the home side doubled their advantage.

Turnbull saved brilliantly from Mason but the ball eventually fell to MORITZ on the edge of the box and he swept home a well-struck effort which went in off the post.

As the rain lashed down in Lancashire, the first half had been a damp squib for Doncaster.

HALF-TIME

Bolton............0

Rovers............0

A clearly unimpressed Paul Dickov - who was linked to the Sheffield Wednesday job in midweek - introduced Brown for the start of the second half, taking off Duffy, and the big frontman was straight into the thick of it.

He held the ball up on half way before Robinson cut in from the right but saw his low shot saved by Lonergan.

Brown was making things stick up top, unlike the first half, but it was Bolton who continued to look more likely as Pratley curled one just over. Coppinger replaced Cotterill as Doncaster desperately sought some sort of foothold in the game.

Rovers’ passing was an improvement on the first half, although Wanderers were now happier to let Doncaster have it in front of them.

Eagles was becoming more of a threat down Bolton’s left. He almost picked out the run of Mason with a slide rule pass but Turnbull was alert to the danger.

The former Manchester United youngster then again found himself in all sorts of space but his dangerous cross from the by-line was hacked clear. He was shortly replaced by Danns.

Simultaneously Rovers made their third and final change, Paynter on for Macheda.

Bolton thought they had killed Rovers off from a corner when Mills rose tallest to power a header home but the goal was somewhat confusingly ruled out for a foul.

overs rarely looked liked getting back into the game, and the closing stages were almost a case of Bolton up against Turnbull singlehandedly.

Horitz and then Danns were denied from distance by Turnbull. Danns then twisted neatly in the box but his low shot was again blocked by Rovers’ over-worked keeper.

Lee then broke clear down the left and pulled it back for substitute Hall but Turnbull was equal to it again.

But he could do nothing to prevent DANNS in stoppage time when he broke into the area and drilled home a third.