Bristol Rovers 0 Doncaster Rovers 4

Mallik Wilks bagged a brace as Doncaster Rovers secured a third straight win in emphatic style at Bristol Rovers.

Saturday, 8th December 2018, 3:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th December 2018, 3:55 pm
Bristol Rovers v Doncaster Rovers

John Marquis and Tom Anderson also found the net as Rovers demonstrated the true extent of their ruthlessness to compound the misery on their struggling hosts at the Memorial Stadium.

The game was hardly as comfortable as the scoreline suggested, particularly before Rovers surged three or four goals clear.

Bristol Rovers were energetic and pushed forward hard but lacked the quality in the final third to make it count.

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Grant McCann made four changes with Niall Mason the big absentee as James Coppinger, Ali Crawford, Shaun Cummings and Wilks came into the side.

The hosts made the livelier start but Rovers struck with just nine minutes on the clock.

Marquis collected James Coppinger's lay-off, cut inside and smashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 25 yards '“ his fourth goal in five games.

Bristol Rovers almost hit back immediately with Ollie Clarke rifling a first time effort off the post from 15 yards while Ian Lawlor produced a decent one-handed save to keep out a Liam Sercombe drive.

The hosts showed plenty of attacking endeavour, flooding forward in numbers but Rovers looked particularly dangerous on the break and possessed a real calmness and composure in their play.

Coppinger looked to catch out Bristol Rovers keeper Jack Bonham after weaving into space but he made a good save at his near post.

Bristol Rovers were having the better of things as the half wore on with Payne forcing an awkward parry from Lawlor from 20 yards while the lively forward looked to bamboozle the keeper with an audacious backheel which he was alert to.

But Rovers did widen their cushion before the break with Wilks capitalising to double the advantage.

Marquis rose to flick a header from a Coppinger cross which bounced back off the bar, falling kindly for Wilks to nod into the corner and out of reach of Bonham.

Rovers had the fierce wind at their faces in the second half and Lawlor was forced into an unconvincing punch from a wide free kick.

But any worries about the elements were quickly eased as they extended their lead nine minutes after the break with Anderson rising to power home a header from a Coppinger cross.

And six minutes later the game was well and truly put to bed with a stunning counterattacking goal.

Carrying the ball from the edge of his own box, Ali Crawford raced away and fed Coppinger, who in turn sent Wilks racing clear to poke a nonchalant finish beyond Bonham,

The sting in the game entirely evaporated and chances were few and far between over the final half hour.

Former Rovers winger Kyle Bennett struck the inside the of the post with a low effort from the edge of the area but the rebound rolled straight to Lawlor.

BRISTOL ROVERS: Bonham, Craig, Lockyer, J Clarke (Bennett 31), Martin, Partington, O Clarke (Rodman 61), Lines, Sercombe, Payne (Jakubiak 61), Nichols. Subs not used: Smith, Upson,  Reilly, Menayese.

ROVERS: Lawlor; Cummings, T Anderson, Butler, Andrew; Crawford (Rowe 69), Whiteman, Kane; Wilks (Taylor 86), Marquis, Coppinger (May 78). Subs not used: Marosi, Amos, J Anderson, Blair.

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 7,356 (364 away)