Callum Kennedy’s sublime free-kick wasn’t enough for the O’s as they fell short of a positive result at the Keepmoat Stadium, losing the match 3-1.
Leyton Orient came into the clash with a sense of optimism as Andy Edwards took the reins from Alberto Cavasin. Orient had only lost one away game in the league prior to this match.
Orient got off to a perfect start after surviving a scare, when Doncaster hit the woodwork, and the visitors went in front on the 20th minute with their first shot of the game courtesy of Charlie Kennedy with a delightfully curled free kick into the top right corner.
Despite this goal, the visitors struggled to pile on the pressure and it was the hosts that seemed in control. After hitting the woodwork on another two occasions, the hosts levelled the scores in injury time as Chelsea loanee Jordan Houghton rifled the stray ball into the bottom corner leaving keeper Alex Cisak helpless.
A tale of two pens
Doncaster Rovers started the second half as they finished the first with Liam Mandeville forcing a deflection into the side netting in the first minute of the restart.
Rovers continued to push and in the 59th minute, Orient’s defence failed to handle a fine solo run from Matty Blair, leading to a foul and penalty for the hosts. Mandeville calmly slotted down the middle to put the hosts in front.
Just five minutes later, Tommy Rowe made a darting run into the box and was alleged to have been brought down, thus Doncaster being given their second penalty of the match. Mandeville dispatched the spot kick into the bottom right corner for his second goal of the game.
After a third penalty appeal was denied, Orient started to press in search of a goal-scoring opportunity themselves. Firstly, Paul McCallum forced a fine save from Marko Marosi to keep the score 3-1 and shortly after Josh Koroma blazed a good chance over the crossbar.
Orient failed to capitalise on the couple of chances they had, leaving the hosts to comfortably see out the game
There were not many changes to the Sky Bet League 2 table, meaning Orient can take positivity from Saturday as fellow strugglers Cheltenham suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Cambridge, whilst Newport lost 4-1 to Blackpool meaning Orient are still clear of the drop thanks to goal difference.
They have now played what may be their hardest game of the season. For the hosts, they now have a chance to go top of the league once they play their game in hand.
Despite the loss, new manager Andy Edwards remained upbeat about the result insisting his players showed “the right attitude and application” and was pleased with the first half performance, particularly with the moment of magic from Callum Kennedy.
Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson was understandably delighted with the win saying he thought that was their “best performance of the season” and revealed how he “set the players a challenge after the Wycombe game, that they had to win all their games in November and they did that”.