Doncaster Rovers found a way to reach the FA Cup fifth round for the first time since 1956, thanks to a little bit of luck and a fair degree of drama.
Ben Whiteman’s two goals saw the League One side past determined opponents, whose fighting spirit eventually went too far, with Peter Clarke, their captain and scorer, sent off for a late altercation with home goalkeeper Marko Marosi.
Whitehead’s first, a well-struck shot from 25 yards, found the net with a big deflection off Clarke; his second was a penalty awarded for handball on the assistant referee’s advice after a huge scramble in the goalmouth.
That Oldham made it this far is one of the more surprising stories in this season’s FA Cup, given the uncertainty surrounding them off the field.
Pete Wild, their academy manager and a lifelong supporter of the League Two club, has kept them on a relatively even keel on the pitch, even amid mounting concerns regarding the ownership style of Abdallah Lemsagam.
Somehow, Wild guided Oldham to victory at Premier League strugglers Fulham in the third round, and they showed similar spirit at the Keepmoat Stadium in the face of fierce Doncaster pressure.
Goalkeeper Dan Iversen was well-placed to block a James Coppinger volley after a corner was only half-cleared, before John Marquis somehow allowed Doncaster’s best first-half chance to get away.