Below-par Doncaster slipped to fourth in the NOW:Pensions North Conference after a 4-1 defeat at Loughborough Students.
The Town Field men started brightly and opened the scoring on nine minutes through Joe Morrison from their first penalty corner.
The lead lasted precisely three minutes as the students scored through Tom Le Lievre, after some good interplay down the right.
Loughborough punished Doncaster in a similar fashion after 18 minutes with Tom Atkinson finishing the move.
Doncaster looked to counter-attack but their approach play let them down until they won a series of penalty corners at the end of the first half.
Uncharacteristically, Doncaster failed to convert and found themselves further behind after the restart, Ed Horler capitalising on a turnover of possession to make it 3-1.
Doncaster threw everything forward in search of goals but the students countered to extend their lead further through Le Lievre.
This weekend sees Doncaster travel to local rivals Wakefield on Saturday, before hosting runaway league leaders Bowden on Sunday.