Match Analysis: John Marquis personifies Rovers’ clinicalness as Grimsby are battered and promotion looms

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster's John Marquis collects the match ball as he celebrates scoring a hat trick

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster's John Marquis collects the match ball as he celebrates scoring a hat trick

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Pressure? What pressure?

Less than a week on from a defeat which could have inserted a few niggly doubts into minds and send nerves jangling ever so slightly, Rovers could hardly have been more cool, calm and collected.

They consigned to the memory banks a frustrating loss to their nearest rivals for the League Two title by demolishing a Grimsby Town side with trademark ruthlessness and relentlessness.

Personifying cool, calm and collected was John Marquis who grabbed his first Football League hat trick, helping Rovers to power back from going a goal down and put the game to bed all in a 24 minute period.

And the victory has put them on the brink of a promotion which has seemed a certainty for some time. It would take a brave or stupid person to bet against them getting the win they need to secure an immediate return to League One.

They were forced to recover from a slow start, and a sloppy one. Rovers struggled over the first ten to 15 minutes against an intense press from the hosts.

And even after beginning to take control of possession, they suffered a blow when they fell behind as Sam Jones claimed the ball on the edge of the area and finished low into the bottom corner.

Rather than toiling and probing, Rovers hit back swiftly and clinically within three minutes.

Andy Williams dummied Niall Mason’s low cross and the ball ran through to Marquis who took a touch and calmly slotted home.

Marquis struck again six minutes later, taking advantage of a superb corner kick from Gary McSheffrey which put the ball on a plate and allowed him to plant a header beyond James McKeown.

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster players celebrate at the end of the game

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster players celebrate at the end of the game

By 61 minutes there were out of sight and Marquis had the matchball. He was sent galloping clear and held off a defender long enough to drill home a shot from the edge of the box.

Grimsby threatened to grab another consolation but Rovers were comfortable. Even more so when Williams produced a sublime curling finish after another rapid break.

And the cherry was placed on the icing on top of a delicious cake when the ball rattled in off substitute Alfie May in the last minute.

MAGIC MARQUIS

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Grimsby's hat-trick hero John Marquis celebrates

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Grimsby's hat-trick hero John Marquis celebrates

What more is left to be said about Rovers’ lethal hitman?

A hat trick was a new achievement for Marquis this season, a campaign in which records have tumbled.

The striker has now scored more goals in a single season than any other Rovers striker in 51 years, since Laurie Sheffield hit 28 in 1965/66.

He sits two goals away from equalling that with six games left to play so you would fancy him to pass another milestone before his personal campaign is over.

Marquis’ workrate and desire has been much lauded this season.

What his hat trick hammered home was the fact he has quality in abundance in front of goal.

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster's Niall Mason slides in to tackle Brandon Comley

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster's Niall Mason slides in to tackle Brandon Comley

All three efforts require precision and superb execution. As has become custom, he delivered.

STRENGTH IN DEPTH

The depth of Rovers’ squad has certainly been tested throughout a season when the treatment room has never been empty.

And while it continues to be tested, the strength of the available group has not looked greater than it currently does.

The returns of Gary McSheffrey and Luke McCullough have played a major part in this. Their remarkable fitness levels, given the extent of their injury problems this season, have seen them slot in seemlessly.

And they have helped Darren Ferguson deal with fresh injury problems, covering the absences of James Coppinger and Conor Grant, neither of whom should be out of action for long.

As Rovers now look to win the League Two title, having quality in reserve will do them no harm.

ONE MORE TO GO

One win is all that is needed to secure a place in League One next season.

How sweet would it be to come via victory over another relatively near neighbour next weekend when Mansfield Town visit the Keepmoat?

Plymouth losing restored the six point gap at the top of the table and put Rovers firmly back in the driving seat for the title.

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson celebrates at the end of the game

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson celebrates at the end of the game

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster's John Marquis fires home his hat-trick

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster's John Marquis fires home his hat-trick

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers
Skybet League Two
Doncaster's Cedric Evina looks to skip past Tom Balarinwa

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers Skybet League Two Doncaster's Cedric Evina looks to skip past Tom Balarinwa

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