Doncaster 0 Fleetwood 1: Barrie McKay makes his point to seal Town victory
Barrie McKay gave manager Simon Grayson food for thought by firing Fleetwood back to winning ways with his third goal of the season.
The 26-year-old Scot is due to return to parent club Swansea City at the end of the season.
But McKay showed what an asset he could be with his latest crucial away strike after sealing three points with the only goal of the game at AFC Wimbledon on Easter Monday.
And Fleetwood were full value for their success, only lacking further goals to ease worries of any Donny equaliser.
Their paucity of league goals this season -just 44 prior to kick-off and the fourth-lowest total in the division - was evidenced in an otherwise dominant display, particularly in the first half.
Kyle Vasselll hit the post, Rovers’ player-boss Andy Butler kicked Sam Finley’s chip off the line for one of five opening period corners, while Finley, Danny Andrew and Harrison Biggins unleashed shots from distance.
But goal number 45 did finally arrive five minutes into the second half.
Vassell and ex-Rover Andrew were on target in a 3-1 Fleetwood victory when the sides met at Highbury on February 9, the only time Town have managed more than two goals in a game so far this year.
Despite losing their previous two games to leaders Hull and Crewe, however, Fleetwood kicked off with a more desirable recent record than their hosts.
Donny’s run of three victories in 18 previous matches, including eight defeats from their last 11, had dropped them out of play-off contention.
Darren Moore’s sudden departure as manager to Sheffield Wednesday last month contributed to the Yorkshire side’s malaise.
And they were second best for long periods, managing only one wayward 15th-minute shot from Josh Simms as League One’s fourth-meanest defence was otherwise untroubled.
Doncaster brought on John Bostock for Scott Robertson at half-time. The substitute’s welcome was a stiff tackle from Jordan Rossiter that earned the midfielder a yellow card from referee Samuel Barrott.
And five minutes in, Town went in front as Callum Camps picked out McKay.
The one-cap Scottish international outpaced statuesque right-back Joe Wright before finishing with a clinical left-foot shot from just inside the area.
The Lancastrians’ goal was well deserved and Vassell had a chance to double the advantage, but his final effort lacked power to over trouble Louis Jones.
Doncaster finally came to life on the hour. Alex Cairns had been well protected by his teammates until Reece James advanced into the area and forced the goalie into a fine save, low down at his near post.
Cairns also beat away an attempt by Tyreece John-Jules after 65 minutes, with Rovers also introducing 40-year-old talisman James Coppinger to try and salvage a draw.
But Fleetwood’s defence coped admirably on the way to moving upto 14th in the table with three games remaining.
With the home side committing more men forward, McKay was having a field day on Town’s left flank.
One telling cross produced a chance for Ged Garner but Vassell’s replacement was thwarted by keeper Jones.
Doncaster: Wright, Anderson, Butler, James, Smith, Robertson (Bostock 45), Sims (Horton 75), Richards, Okenabirhie, John-Jules (Coppinger 63); Subs not used: Gomes, John, Greaves, Bottomley
Fleetwood: Cairns, Donacien, Hill, Connolly, Andrew, Biggins, Rossiter, Finley, Camps, Vassell (Garner 76), McKay; Subs not used: Coleman, Whelan, Duffy, Sheron, Baggley, Feeney
Referee: Samuel Barrott
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