McGoldrick brace sees Town climb into top six
Two goals from David McGoldrick helped take Town into the Play-Off places with a comfortable victory at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Blues’ leading scorer opened the scoring with a text book header and took his tally to 11 for the campaign with a neat finish early in the second-half.
Sandwiched in between was a header from Luke Chambers and the winning margin could have been more but for Ross Turnbull’s alertness in the home goal.
Town kept with the same team that drew with Watford last weekend and started on the front foot in this first of three games inside a week, Daryl Murphy denied by an excellent save from Turnbull inside the first two minutes.
Ryan Tunnicliffe was the architect of that chance and set up another for McGoldrick soon after, the striker heading at the Doncaster ‘keeper from 12 yards out.
Town got the breakthrough the early play had threatened on 24 minutes and it was so simple, an Aaron Cresswell corner and McGoldrick thumped home his header.
Frank Nouble powered a header wide from Chambers’ cross as Town went looking for a second.
Brilliant interplay between Tunnicliffe and McGoldrick carved the Doncaster defence apart on the edge of the box, with Murphy denied a certain goal at the far post by Paul Quinn’s intervention.
Blues didn’t have to wait long though for the second, Tunnicliffe’s corner headed in by Chambers at the near post on the half hour.
Dean Gerken preserved Town’s two goal advantage on 38 minutes with a brilliant save from Mark Duffy’s excellent free-kick, the ‘keeper’s fingertips taking the ball onto the bar.
Theo Robinson then fired wide in Doncaster’s best move of the first-half as Town went into the break in total command.
Blues sealed the points six minutes after the restart and again the Doncaster defence was carved apart, Tunnicliffe feeding McGoldrick inside the box and he beat Turnbull in style.
Doncaster responded with Federico Macheda replaced by Alex Peterson but Town had the ball in the net seconds later only for Nouble to be ruled offside.
McGoldrick weaved his way through the home defence again just before the hour but Turnbull made the save low down to his left as Blues threatened to score at every opportunity.
Nouble had the next chance, lifting the ball wide of Turnbull but also the right hand post.
Peterson flashed a header just wide for Paul Dickov’s side before Donny made a second change, Harry Forrester making way for David Cotterill.
Jordan Graham came on for Nouble for the last 15 minutes, Robinson also leaving the action as Doncaster played their last card, Kyle Bennett replacing him.
Peterson headed over again before McGoldrick made way for Paul Taylor for the closing stages as Town eased to the three points, making it 12 goals in the last three visits to the Keepmoat.
Town fans even had the sight of Chambers in Ronaldo like form down the right flank before blasting a volley just wide in added on time.
The win stretches Town’s unbeaten run to six games and lifts Blues into the top six for the first time in 16 months.
Doncaster: Turnbull, Quinn, Furman, Wakefield, Suk Young, Wellens, McCullough, Forrester (Cotterill 70), Duffy, Robinson (Bennett 73), Macheda (Peterson 53). Subs not used: Maxted, Stevens, Woods, De Val. Booked: Quinn.
Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Hyam, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Nouble (Graham 73), McGoldrick (Taylor 82), Murphy (Anderson 90). Subs not used: Loach, Mings, Edwards, Tabb.
Att: 7753 (936 Town fans)