Shrimpers can’t cope as Donny dominate
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