Doncaster Rovers 2

Whiteman 68, 89 (pen)

Oldham Athletic 1

Clarke 84

CARETAKER boss Pete Wild disputed the late penalty that saw his Oldham Athletic side's FA Cup dreams shattered.

The fourth-round tie at Doncaster's Keepmoat stadium exploded into life late on, but before that the sides had gone into the break goalless, with Daniel Iversen and skipper Peter Clarke performing heroically to keep the home side out.

The deadlock was broken on 68 minutes as Ben Whiteman hit the Latics on the break, only for Clarke to equalise six minutes from time.

But a cruel twist was to come, with referee Peter Bankes awarding a penalty and Whiteman converting.

Clarke was then sent off in injury time to compound the misery.

Wild commented: “I’ve seen it back now and it is not a penalty. It’s as clear as day it is not a penalty. But it’s the weird and wonderful world of officials and I’ll just leave it there.

“I thought we had to do a lot of defending in the first half and we knew that, we were going to sit in and stay tight and try and soak up the pressure and I think we did that well.

“Apart from the one where Clarkey (Peter Clarke) has cleared it off the line I think we nullified their threat.

“We came out second half and again we had to withstand a little bit of pressure but we came more into the game as we wanted to and that was the tactic.”

Iverson made stunning saves early on from James Coppinger and Paul Downing but those saves were soon bettered by veteran Oldham skipper Clarke.

A defensive mistake led to John Marquis rounding Iverson and side-footing towards goal, but as he was wheeling away to celebrate, Clarke got back to brilliantly to clear off the line.

In the second half the almost 4,000-strong Oldham support very nearly had something to celebrate when Chris O’Grady’s cross found Jose Baxter, who headed just wide.

Johan Branger went on a mazy run and his shot on target rebounded off Marko Marosi but would not fall to the feet of O’Grady or Baxter.

But just when the home fans were getting restless Rovers hit Oldham on the break.

Whiteman’s shot was on target but would have been covered by Iverson but for a deflection off the head of Clarke that left the keeper standing as the ball hit the back of the net.

Chris Missilou nearly equalised for Latics, spinning on the edge of the area and firing in a shot that rebounded off the post and fell to Callum Lang, who could only hit the side netting.

Oldham attacked again and Lang went down on the edge of the area. Gevaro Nepomuceno’s free kick was saved but the rebound fell to Clarke who hit the back of the net.

Minutes later, however, it was heartbreak for Latics and their travelling hordes when referee Bankes awarded a penalty for handball.

That no-one knew who the handball was given against was no consolation when Whiteman stepped up and sent Iverson the wrong way.

Clarke was then sent off in injury time for a late challenge on Marosi that earned a yellow card, but Wild took the positives from a battling performance against a side from the division above.

“I thought we looked a threat but we’ve got to keep the ball better,” he added. “We are good when we are soaking up pressure but we’ve got to be better at breaking teams down and I don’t think we were great at that.

“We grew into the game and we started to look a bit more of a threat, but we’ve got to stay on the ball and enjoy the ball more in their half.”

Doncaster Rovers: (4-3-3): Marko Marosi; Niall Mason, Tom Anderson, Ben Whiteman, Danny Andrew; Herbie Kane, James Coppinger (Matty Blair 63), Paul Downing; John Marquis, Alfie May (Joe Wright 90+3), Kieran Sadlier (Mallik Wilks 63)

Subs not used: Louis Jones, Tommy Rowe, Ali Crawford, Aaron Lewis

Oldham Athletic: (4-4-1-1): Dan Iverson 9; Tom Hamer 7, Peter Clarke (capt) 9, Sam Edmundson 8, Gevaro Nepomuceno 8; Callum Lang 7, Mohamad Sylla 7, Chris Missilou 8, Johan Branger-Engone 8; Jose Baxter 7; Chris O’Grady 7

Subs not used: Zeus De la Paz, Cameron Dummigan, Andy Taylor, Urko Vera, Jonathan Benteke, Robert Hunt, Harry Robinson

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 11,260