Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Bradford City 1

Keshi Anderson's goal is disallowed for handball.
Keshi Anderson's goal is disallowed for handball.

New boss Darren Ferguson watched Doncaster Rovers slip to their first home league defeat of the season against a well-organised Bradford City team.

The Bantams’ winning goal came after just 45 seconds when Devante Cole took advantage of some sloppy defending to prod home from close range.

Keshi Anderson saw a goal disallowed for handball midway through the first half but City managed to mainly keep Rovers at arm’s length in front of the on-looking Ferguson.

Defeat leaves Rovers second from bottom in the table with Ferguson to take charge of his first game at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.

With Rob Jones in the dug-out for one final time, Oscar Gobern earned a surprise recall to the starting line-up, while Gary MacKenzie returned from a three-game ban to start against his former club.

There’s a very good chance Ferguson might not even have taken his seat in the stands before Rovers fell behind - after just 45 seconds.

Lee Evans’ long throw from the right was flicked on by Rory McArdle and Cole prodded home.

City made all the early running and Rovers, on the back of an eventful week, looked every inch a side whose preparation had been far from ideal as passes went astray and the visitors looked significantly sharper.

Things went from bad to worse when Andy Butler was forced off with an early injury, resulting in Cedric Evina switching to right back and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair coming on at left back.

Just before the half hour mark there was controversy when Doncaster thought they had equalised after a goalmouth scramble from a corner.

Keshi Anderson’s shot came down on the line off the crossbar and referee Dean Whitestone ruled that the on-loan Crystal Palace striker used his hand to force the ball over the line.

The incident sparked some life into the home team but it was Bradford who went closer to extending their lead, Gary Liddle heading a chance just over and Kyel Reid twice going close from distance.

Anderson appealed for a penalty on the stroke of half time when he went down under the challenge of goalkeeper Ben Williams but the referee was not interested.

Rovers began the second period with a bit more spring in their step, with Richard Chaplow seeing an attempt blocked after ghosting into the box.

At the other end City looked a threat on the counter attack, while Tony McMahon curled a free kick on the angle of the box inches wide.

Andy Williams, who again struggled to get into the game, saw a shot on the turn saved by his namesake Ben in the Bradford goal.

Substitute Nathan Tyson, back after two months out, also saw an effort go just wide after being played in by Anderson.

MacKenzie just failed to get up high enough to head home a late corner and Gobern fizzed a shot wide in stoppage time but Bradford held on for the three points.

Rovers: Stuckmann, McCullough, MacKenzie, Butler (Taylor-Sinclair 18), Evina, Coppinger (Middleton 81), Wellens, Gobern, Chaplow (Tyson 65), Williams, Anderson. Subs not used: Marosi, Stewart, N’Guessan, Forrester.

Bradford City: Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Liddle, Evans, Reid (Marshall 75), Davies (Hanson 62), Cole. Subs not used: Jones, N Clarke, Knott, Leigh, Mottley-Henry.

Attendance: 8,410