Hornets climb above Rovers
Doncaster undone at home by Watford
Last Updated: 04/04/09 6:46pm
Watford put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone with a 2-1 success away to Doncaster.
Sam Hird's own goal gave the Hornets the advantage and they were soon 2-0 up after midfielder Don Cowie headed home.
James Hayter responded for the home side with time running out but they could not fashion an equaliser and continue to struggle for goals at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Watford held on but Sean O'Driscoll's side remain comfortably clear of the drop zone themselves and should be playing the Hornets again at this level next season.
The visitors started strongly and took a deserved lead in the 13th minute.
Tamas Priskin broke clear down the right flank and when he drilled in a low cross the hapless Hird was unfortunate to see the ball strike his knee and fly past veteran goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.
Priskin then forced a fine save from Sullivan with a powerful header before Cowie doubled the lead in the 18th minute.
Again the danger came from the right wing and full-back Adrian Mariappa picked out Cowie with a floated cross which the former Inverness man steered past Sullivan.
Cowie failed to see out the half however, picking up an injury, so Rodgers handed a debut to on-loan Tottenham youngster Danny Rose from the bench.
Cowie's departure triggered Rovers' best spell but Dean Shiels and Mark Wilson both hit shots straight at Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach.
Shiels called Loach into action in the opening minutes of the second half as the hosts looked to make an instant impact before Rodgers suffered his second injury blow of the afternoon when Priskin was forced off.
The Hungarian was replaced by Will Hoskins and the former Rotherham man almost killed the game off when he flicked a header goalward from a corner but Sullivan was alert to keep it out.
Martin Woods then thrashed a strike narrowly over from the edge of the area as Rovers kept pushing for a way back into the game but Watford were comfortable in dealing with the threat.
Jobi McAnuff then came close to a third when he got on the end of a breakaway and fired in a powerful shot from the edge of the area which Sullivan did well to tip over the crossbar.
But it was Doncaster who hit the third goal of the game when Hayter struck in the 85th minute.
Hayter had only been on the field for six minutes when he collected fellow substitute Kazenga LuaLua's pass, cut in from the right and smashed a left-footed curler past Loach and into the top corner.
Sky Bet Championship
|19||Brighton and Hove Albion||43||46|