Paul Dickov believes his side should have had a penalty when Theo Robinson was ‘impeded’ as he beared down on goal just seconds before Derby County went 2-0 up.
Doncaster found themselves chasing a leveller after just 13 minutes when a lapse in concentration allowed Chris Martin to feed in Jamie Ward for the opening goal.
However, Rovers rallied and felt aggrieved that nothing was given when Robinson tried to wriggle free from his marker seeing him shoot off balance as Lee Grant saved.
Seconds later, Derby countered and Simon Dawkins raced clear to fire County into a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute. The Doncaster chief was adamant his striker was fouled in the build-up to the chance.
“You talk about game defining moments every week. A lot of credit has to go to Theo [Robinson] for staying on his feet, but within 10 seconds we go 2-0 down,” he said. “They are big moments in the game.
“It sounds as if I am moaning all the time but we are disappointed because the referee played advantage a few times and I just can’t understand why Theo has been impeded twice - which had stopped his strike on goal and not given him as much contact - why he can’t pull it back then? If the referee is being consistent, it should have been a penalty.”
Doncaster did hit back when a 64th minute cross into the box was headed into his own net by Jake Buxton following good aerial pressure from Robinson.
First half substitute Federico Macheda then had a superb chance to get Doncaster level at 2-2, however, he blasted wide.
But Derby’s devastating attacks eventually prevailed as Craig Bryson jinked his way into the area and curled the ball into the net for 3-1 in the 78th minute.
Despite the defeat, which sees Doncaster remain in 20th and winless in their last four, Dickov was pleased with his side’s endeavour.
He added: “I thought the players gave me absolutely everything they have got. They had a lot of quality on the ball.”
Chris Brown and Paul Quinn were substituted as precautions during the Derby defeat, the Rovers chief added.
James Coppinger and Billy Paynter were also not involved for the trip to the iPro Stadium due to heel and Achilles niggles respectively, as an injury-ravaged Doncaster prepare for the busy Christmas schedule.