A CALAMITOUS afternoon at Ewood Park saw Rovers suffer their second successive defeat in League One as Doncaster Rovers left Ewood Park 3-1 winners.

Rovers were booed off at the final whistle as the fans made their feelings known after watching their side concede three second half goals, all from defensive errors, as life in the third tier continues to be a struggle.

John Marquis put the visitors infront within a minute of the second half starting, a lead that was doubled 20 minutes later when James Coppinger scored from the spot.

A poor afternoon got even worse when David Raya gifted Alfie May a third, before Dominic Samuel scored a late consolation with a header from inside the six yard box.

Tony Mowbray made just two changes from the side which won at Coventry City in the Carabao Cup, with Danny Graham and Peter Whittingham replacing Dominic Samuel and Liam Feeney who both dropped to the bench.

In a quiet start to the game there was little to get the hearts racing, other than David Raya letting a Paul Caddis backpass over his foot and having to chase back to clear from infront of his own goal.

It was poor defending from Caddis moments that allowed Doncaster the first shot of the first-half, only for Danny Andrew to lash his effort over the bar.

Rovers were struggling to find any real fluency going forward, with an isolated Danny Graham often fighting against three defenders to get on the end of anything played in to the box.  He did have a sight of goal in the 20th minute, only for his effort on the turn to be blocked.

The best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute.  Space opened up for Graham and he opted to go alone, rather than playing in the unmarked Whittingham, and once again saw his shot from the edge of the box blocked.

Doncaster were very much in the game, playing some neat football in the central areas.  Jon Marquis, fresh from 25 goals last season, had one sight of goal in the opening period, as he caught Rovers napping, but couldn’t find the target with his volley as he met a right wing cross.

Ten minutes before the break he suffered the same fate with his right-foot shot from the edge of the box, as the visitors failed to find a shot on target in the first half.

It was hardly raining shots at the other end either, with a Paul Caddis left-foot shot from 20 yards the only one Rovers could muster.

Corry Evans was among their better performers in the opening  half, and things opened up infront of goal for him just before the half-time whistle, but under pressure, he could only drag his shot wide of the target.

The second half was to start in nightmare fashion for the hosts, who were behind within a minute of the start.  Sloppy played allowed Marquis to nip the ball past Ward and after steadying himself inside the box, fired across Raya and in to the far corner.

Mowbray didn’t waste much time in turning to his bench, bringing on Bradley Dack and Dominic Samuel just 10 minutes later.

But it was Doncaster who continued to look the more threatening, and would double their advantage midway through the second half.  It came from the penalty spot, won, and scored, by James Coppinger.  Charlie Mulgrew was adjuged to have brought down the midfielder, as he raced in on goal, with referee David Webb taking a long time to think about the decision before pointing to the spot.  Coppinger fired down the middle, giving Raya no chance.

Having made all of their changes, following the introduction of Ben Gladwin, Rovers continued to chase the game, but the visitors looked the more likely to get the third goal.  Coppinger found the side netting with a free-kick, while Raya denied Tommy Rowe with an excellent low save.

As the game tipped in to the final 15 minutes, all Rovers could offer was a Gladwin shot, plucked out of the top corner by a flying Ian Lawlor save.

Things were to get even worse for Rovers though, as with eight minutes to go, Doncaster found a third.  It was a calamity from a Rovers point of view, as Raya raced off his line and tried to find Elliott Ward with his attempted header.  However, all he could succeed in doing was nodding in to the path of Alfie May who had the simple job of tapping in to an empty net.

The crowd had started to depart Ewood Park when, with four minutes to go, Dominic Samuel scored his first goal at Ewood Park, nodding in a deflected Ryan Nyambe cross from inside the six yard box.

That was little consolation given what had gone before, with Rovers well beaten, by the newly-promoted side.