Match report: Oldham Athletic 1 Doncaster Rovers 2

A brace for on-form Andy Williams was enough for Rovers to return to winning ways against struggling Oldham Athletic.

Team mates celebrate with Andy Williams after he gave Rovers the lead at Oldham
Team mates celebrate with Andy Williams after he gave Rovers the lead at Oldham

Williams netted his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the first half with Rovers looking set for a comfortable victory despite the hosts seeing much more of the ball.

But Rhys Murphy pulled a goal back with 16 minutes to go, ensuring a nervier finish, only for Rovers to hang on.

Andy Williams curls home the opener for Rovers at Oldham

Nathan Tyson and Mitchell Lund dropped to the bench as Rovers welcomed back Felipe Mattioni from injury and Paul Keegan was given a start.

Oldham dominated the first five minutes and really should have been ahead. Carl Winchester darted free at the back post but could only head over the bar from Mike Jones' excellent cross.

When Rovers finally did see the ball, the attacked with real intent.

James Coppinger hit a shot almost too well after chesting down and turning on the edge of the box with the ball flying crisply straight at David Cornell.

But Rovers would take the lead on 12 minutes with a sublime finish from Williams.

He brought down Craig Alcock's long free kick with a deft touch, turned and curled it beyong David Cornell with the outside of his boot.

Moments later, Conor Grant almost doubled the lead only to see his shot from 20 yards rattle back off the far post.

Oldham reestablished control of possession, working well down the flanks and getting crosses into the box. Jake Cassidy headed one straight at Thorsten Stuckmann on 27 minutes.

Felipe Mattioni was forced off through injury after just 31 minutes with Mitchell Lund coming off the bench. And the youngster was called into action quickly, heading out a corner which Kelly met with a piledriver that deflected just wide.

Forays into the final third were few and far between for Rovers barring a couple of patches. Williams headed tamely at Cornell from a Grant cross.

Stuckmann was forced into a much more taxing save at the other end moments later when he got down well at his near post to keep out Jones' diving header.

And from the subsequent corner, Timothee Dieng saw his header strike the bar and go over.

It was not until late in the half when Rovers enjoyed a decent spell of pressure for the first time since the opening goal. And Williams was seemingly on the end of everything.

He nodded down a free kick into the box from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair before turning a shooting just past the post.

And moments later Williams powered past his marker to meet a Grant cross but headed straight at Cornell.

The connections he made on both of those efforts were infinitely better than the one which doubled Rovers' lead on the stroke of half time.

Harry Middleton chased a lost cause through lacklustre Oldham defending and clipped a cross over Cornell which Williams met with a scuffed volley. The ball hit the post, bounced and spun over the line for a rather calamatous goal.

Stuckmann was forced into a fine save in stoppage time to keep his sheet clean at the break. Oldham broke with Murphy meeting a cross with a superb header only for Stuckmann to get down low to tip wide.

Rovers looked much more comfortable after the break with Oldham looking rather deflated.

The hosts failed to cause much danger in the final third and the game looked as though it would peter out with little incident.

Grant clipped a shot wide from just inside the box after carrying the ball for 40 yards but chances for both sides were few and far between.

The game would come back to life with 16 minutes to go as Oldham pulled a goal back.

Murphy smashed in from close range after substitute Mark Yeates saw a shot blocked.

The hosts were unsurprisingly roused by their way back into the game and Rovers did everything they could to keep them out of the final third.

Their only real threat came deep into injury time when Murphy darted in to meet a dangerous cross but headed well over the bar.

The defending late in the game may not have been pretty but it was effective and enough to ensure Rovers returned to winning ways.

Oldham: Cornell, B Wilson, Dieng, J Wilson (Dummigan 46), Eckersley (Mills 71), Winchester (Yeates 56), Kelly, Philliskirk, Jones, . Subs not used: Coleman, Croft, Poleon, Rasulo.

Rovers: Stuckmann, Alcock, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Mattioni (Lund 31), Middleton, Keegan, Grant, Evina, Coppinger (Chaplow 71), Williams (Tyson 64). Subs not used: Marosi, McCullough, Whitehouse, Mandeville.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)

Attendance: 4,432 (766 away)