Out of sorts and out of the FA Cup, Rovers exit the competition at the third round stage for the fourth successive season.

League One side Doncaster, who had seen their last four matches postponed and had only just returned to training on Tuesday, progressed courtesy of a first half Taylor Richards strike.

It was a lacklustre display from the off, no cohesion or rhythm, and for a spell in the second half, they were all at sea with no real semblance of formation.

They looked troubled at the back, Doncaster picking their moments to attack, but did so with real pace, none moreso than the only goal of the game three minutes before the break.

The Rovers defence parted, Richards’ shot squirming through the hands of Aynsley Pears, a section of play that somewhat summed up their afternoon.

Over the piece, Rovers deserved very little, one flying Ellery Balcombe save denying Bradley Dack, while Joe Wright headed against his own bar, the closest they came to a goal.

Rovers made six changes and for the first time in 383 days welcomed Bradley Dack back into the side.

There were recalls for Aynsley Pears, John Buckley, Tom Trybull, Stewart Downing and Tyrhys Dolan, but still a strong look to the side that took to what was looking a very worn pitch.

Downing demonstrated his class on a less than easy surface with some neat footwork, but the early chances belonged to the visitors.

First Pears had to be quick off his line as Tyreece John-Jules pulled off the shoulder of Darragh Lenihan to collect a neat Fejiri Okenabirhie flick, with the keeper able to thwart his attempted chip.

It was on the left that Rovers were carved open in the 16th minute, Richards getting on the inside of Amari’i Bell, but when clean through, couldn’t work the ball enough onto his preferred left foot as he shot wide of the target.

Rovers were guilty of over-playing, Dolan seeing a lot of the ball on the right edge of the box without being able to produce, with Rovers having to wait until after the opening quarter to have their first shot at goal.

It came 24 minutes in, Ben Brereton taking a more direct route as his shot from distance flew over the bar.

Dack thumped a free-kick wide of the target to liven everyone up, but chances were few and far between for the hosts.

They should have led 12 minutes before the break however, Trybull whizzing the ball across the six yard box which somehow, with the goal gaping, Darragh Lenihan managed to turn wide.

Dack also turned a Travis shot goalwards, tipped wide by Balcombe, while Brereton was starting to show more signs of life on the left.

Rovers were behind three minutes before the break, however. The midfield were cut out by one pass, the defence backing off to the edge of their area, inviting Richards to shoot from 25 yards, with Pears making a mess of the effort which slipped under his hands and into the corner.

Trybull hooked a volley wide in the dying seconds of what had been a half which never kicked into life from a Rovers point of view.

Barry Douglas was on at the break, as Rovers made one change, and they went close to levelling just seconds after the re-start. It would have been a bizarre one had it dropped in, Dack blocking an attempted clearance from Balcombe which almost embarrassed the keeper.

There was a little more intent from Rovers at the start of the half.

Downing’s corner was headed against the underside of his own crossbar by Tom Anderson, before Dack steered a shot wide at the near post from a Douglas cross.

Doncaster, when they did attack, were a threat however, Okenabirhie cutting inside both Douglas and Johnson before thumping an effort straight at Pears who held.

Joe Rothwell and Harvey Elliott were then called for, the teenager seeing one shot blocked and another flash wide within minutes of his introduction.

Adam Armstrong was then sent on, replacing Trybull, as any semblance of midfield shape went out of the window.

They did twice go close to an equaliser, denied by a stunning save from Balcombe who first palmed away a swerving Elliott strike, then quickly to his feet to keep out Dack’s follow-up from six yard.

That was his last action, Jacob Davenport on his place to provide some control to the middle of the park.

Time was ticking away just as quickly as passes were going astray for Rovers who continued to be out of sorts.

The ball did fall Rovers’ way seven minutes from time, Brereton knocking down a Douglas free kick to Armstrong whose shot from six yards was blocked by Anderson.

An even better chance arrived three minutes from time, a perfectly weighted ball into the box from Rothwell found Buckley arriving at the back post, but whether put off by the keeper, he couldn’t guide the ball home.

Rovers: Pears, Buckley, Lenihan, Johnson, Bell (Douglas, 46), Trybull (Armstrong, 64), Travis (Rothwell, 58), Downing (Elliott, 58), Dolan, Dack (Davenport, 72), Brereton

Substitutes: Kaminski, Gallagher, Grayson, Pike

Doncaster Rovers: Balcombe, Halliday, James, Anderson (c), Wright, Okenabirhie (Amos, 80), Richards (Lokilo, 67), John-Jules, Butler, Simoes, John

Substitutes: Jones, Williams, Coppinger, Blythe, Ravenhill