Coming into last Saturday’s encounter with MK Dons on a run of five straight league defeats, Doncaster were not expected to take anything home from their visit to a club contending for Championship football.
However, Gary McSheffrey’s men upset the odds – and clawed themselves a little closer to some of their relegation rivals – despite withstanding significant pressure and giving up 75% of the ball; Joe Dodoo’s first-half strike ultimately proving enough to steal all three points.
After halting a losing streak dating back to the end of last year – started by a 3-0 home reverse to Sunderland and also featuring a heart-wrenching 4-3 loss against Morecambe having lead by three goals – Rovers will now target their first home victory since beating Shrewsbury in early December.
The Reds may have already conceded nearly a half-century of goals in League One this term, but can glean confidence from a brave defensive performance in Milton Keynes, which earned them a precious clean sheet.
McSheffrey has outlined a new approach to his side’s survival fight in recent weeks, though results had been slow to follow, and a commitment to a direct style and ceaseless workrate may help the South Yorkshire side defy their lowly status to topple Plymouth this weekend.
Having enjoyed a narrow 2-1 win in the reverse fixture – in which they notched the winner through Conor Grant’s stoppage-time penalty – Plymouth will hope for another slice of fortune to fall their way on Saturday.
Denied by a similarly late equaliser on Tuesday, the Pilgrims have now drawn one and lost two of their last three outings and sit outside the playoff places.
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Leading by two goals with only a minute of the 90 remaining, they contrived to draw 3-3 at Fleetwood in midweek, following successive defeats to Lincoln City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Plymouth leaked nine goals across those games, and they have accrued only two wins in their last 10 league fixtures, leaving manager Steven Schumacher targeting transfer window recruits as he tries to steady the ship in the Devonian port city.
Nonetheless, Schumacher’s side are still just two points behind Oxford United, who occupy the final top-six spot, and he will expect that a rocky start as Argyle boss will make way for calmer waters – starting this weekend, at the league’s bottom side.