Shrimpers can’t cope as Donny dom­i­nate

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Phillips By Stephen Thirkill

DON­CASTER Rovers man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son la­belled his side’s 3-0 win at Southend a com­plete per­for­mance.

Rovers moved up to 11th in the League One stand­ings with a con­vinc­ing vic­tory at Roots Hall.

And Fer­gu­son in­sisted he could not fault his play­ers af­ter they made it six away games in suc­ces­sion with­out de­feat.

“It was a great start to the New Year and it was a com­plete per­for­mance both on and off the ball,” said Fer­gu­son. “We started well, we got con­trol and it was a really pleas­ing af­ter­noon.

“Southend have put more crosses into the box than any other team in the league so we needed to be solid de­fen­sively.

“They’ve also scored half their goals from set­pieces so we knew they would be a threat but we wanted to nul­lify that by keep­ing the ball and we did ex­actly that.

“It was also im­por­tant we got that clean sheet be­cause we haven’t had one for a while so I’m really, really pleased.”

Don­caster were rarely trou­bled and went in front in the 44th minute when Andy Wil­liams smashed home a left-footed shot from close range af­ter cen­tre-back Adam Thomp­son had failed to cut out a right-wing cross from Nathan Tyson.

Paul Kee­gan struck the post at the start of the sec­ond half for the visi­tors be­fore Luke McCul­lough’s header was cleared off the line by Southend mid­fielder Ryan Leonard.

But Don­caster stayed on top and made it 2-0 in the 54th minute when Conor Grant’s left-wing cor­ner was pow­er­fully volleyed home by Aaron Tay­lor-Sin­clair.

Rovers then com­pleted the scor­ing just four min­utes later when Nathan Tyson fired home a penalty af­ter Thomp­son had brought down Wil­liams fol­low­ing a calami­tous er­ror from Southend goal­keeper Daniel Bent­ley.

That se­cured all three points for Rovers as Southend sunk to their sec­ond suc­ces­sive heavy home de­feat, hav­ing been beaten 40 by Mill­wall on Mon­day.

And boss Phil Brown, whose side re­main sev­enth in the league, was crit­i­cal of the dis­play. “You can talk about sys­tems and tac­tics but the bot­tom line is the op­po­si­tion were bet­ter than us,” he fumed.

“It was our sixth de­feat in 24 games at Roots Hall but un­for­tu­nately it’s come off the back of a 4-0 de­feat so ques­tions will be asked.

“It’s the group men­tal­ity that’s wrong. We’ve never played as in­di­vid­u­als since I’ve been here but at the mo­ment we are.

“Maybe the step up to this league is a step too far for some of them or maybe it was a bridge too far in terms of num­ber of games, but the play­ers have a harsh week ahead of them.

STAR MAN ANDY WIL­LIAMS

Don­caster

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