DONCASTER Rovers’ miseerable start to the season continued when they lost 2-0 at Cardiff City
Rovers welcomed back James Coppinger and defender James O’Connor, who started for the first time since a close-season knee operation.
Cardiff came flying out of the blocks and after Rovers keeper Woods had failed to hold onto a shot, Cardiff striker Earnshaw shot against the post from close range before Rovers skipper Friend cleared the danger.
Earnshaw earned City a second minute corner from which a 20-yard mis-hit shot by centre-back Gerrard ended up just clearing the bar.
Friend picked Coppinger out with a long ball out to defence on nine minutes but the move fizzled out in the Cardiff area.
Bennett won Rovers a 12th minute corner with a 25-yarder which keeper Marshall could only push past the left-hand post.
Dumbuya got the better of two defenders after cutting into the box from the right, only to shoot wide.
Although on the back foot for long periods of the first half, Rovers had looked quite dangerous on occasion in the final third and Cardiff’s Marshall had been the slightly busier of the two keepers.
Cardiff 0 Doncaster Rovers 0
There was a let-off for Rovers when Cardiff skipper Hudson headed straight at Woods when well-placed.
Cardiff took the lead on 52 minutes when GERRARD headed home from Whittingham’s free-kick to claim his first goal of the season.
With Lalkovic providing an extra attacking option Rovers were likely to get chances in and around the area.Dumbuya set up Coppinger wide out on the right but his cross meant for Bennett at the far post was headed clear.
The referee finally reached into his pocket for a card when booking Bennett on 61 minutes.
Rovers made their second substitution on 68 minutes with Barnes coming on for Bennett.
EARNSHAW left Rovers with a mountain to climb in making it 2-0 on 75 minutes.
The ball fell nicely for the striker after Woods had got down well to deny Whittingham and he made no mistake to claim his third goal of the season.
What must have been disappointing for Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll was that the visitors had not really troubled Marshall this half despite their more attacking formation.
Both sides made a change in the dying minutes with Gestede replacing Miller for Cardiff on 83 minutes and Wilson coming on for Dumbuya for Rovers two minutes later.
Coppinger just cleared the crossbar from 25 yards out after being set up by some excellent play by Friend.
Rovers were awarded a late free-kick just outside the area after Gerrard had been booked, but Barnes fired over.
For a full report, see the Green’Un.