A NEW division, a host of new players, but still the same struggles for Rovers as their start to life in League One has begun with two successive defeats.

Once again their problems were self-inflicted as they gift-wrapped three second half goals to the visitors. Team selection and formation may well be called in to question, but defend as Rovers did and rarely will you get something from a game.

Slow and lethargic in the first half, Rovers would have been looking for a response after the break, only to then be chasing the game within a minute of the re-start as they fell behind, before more defensive lapses saw Doncaster go out of sight.

After two defeats in their opening two games, they need to try and find a formula, and balance, to their play that will allow them to be expansive enough to create the chances they need to win games, while remaining resolute enough in defence to keep the back door shut.

Boss Tony Mowbray has a wealth of options as his disposal, as shown by the substitutes bench he was able to name, but is still searching for a way in which to mould them in to a team.

But this isn’t a time for over-reaction. This team possesses the quality to mount a promotion push, something that hasn’t changed after two disappointing results, but one which needs to find a result to quash any potential doubts setting in.

There was little to get the pulses racing in a first half to forget, though goalkeeper David Raya having to scamper back to clear in front of his own goal-line after letting a backpass go over his foot, did make a few heartbeats stop momentarily.

Between them the two sides managed just one effort on target, that coming from the boot of Paul Caddis.    Corry Evans dragged an effort wide, while Danny Graham will have rued his decision to shoot, rather than play in an unmarked Peter Whittingham, during a rare opening in the opening half.

It was expected that the home side would come out with increased urgency after the break, but within a minute, they were behind.  John Marquis pounced on an error by Elliott Ward to race in on goal, firing across Raya and in to the corner.

Shortly after, Mowbray called for the cavalry, sending on a trio of attacking substitutes in the form of Bradley Dack, Dominic Samuel and Ben Gladwin.

But 20 minutes after being gifted an opener, Doncaster would go 2-0 up from the penalty spot.  Rovers were carved open, allowing James Coppinger to run clear.  Charlie Mulgrew tried his best to get back, only to be penalised for a foul on the midfielder, with the referee pointing to the spot after plenty of consideration.

Gladwin went close to reducing the arrears, only to be first denied by a flying save by Ian Lawlor, and then narrowly missing the top corner with his 25-yarder.

Things were to get worse for Rovers though as they conceded a calamitous third.  Raya raced off his line to try and deal with a long ball over the top.  However, his attempted header towards Elliott Ward could only find Alfie May who had the simple task of rolling in to the empty net. 

There was time for a consolation before the end, with Samuel scoring his first at Ewood Park.  The striker had been unlucky not to be included in the starting line-up, but showed what he could offer four minutes from the end as he nodded in Ryan Nyambe’s cross from close range.

But it was definitely too little, and certainly too late.