WREXHAM, whose Carling Cup record is nothing to boast about, were denied a place in the second round of the competition last night by a marvellous goalkeeping performance from Doncaster's Andy Warrington.
The visiting keeper pulled off a series of fine saves to deny the Dragons, who overcame a host of injury problems to give their League One opponents a real scare before conceding a late goal and bowing out once again at the first hurdle.
The home side were forced into a late switch when central defender Dennis Lawrence failed to emerge from the tunnel for the start of the game, despite having been involved in the warm-up.
It later emerged that he had sustained a hamstring strain and his place at the back was filled by Andy Holt, with Alex Smith given the wing-back role.
But despite the absence of the commanding Trinidad international, there was no excuse for Wrexham's failure to pick up Rovers striker Leo Fortune-West when Dave Mulligan delivered a second-minute free kick.
The former Cardiff man was first to the ball but his attempted volley spun harmlessly wide of Mike Ingham's goal, and Wrexham did their best to take advantage of their escape.
Jon Walters, playing alongside debutant Robbie Foy, took responsibility for holding up the ball and an eighth-minute lay-off gave Mark Jones a glimpse of goal, but the midfielder's fierce shot from 20 yards whistled just past the post.
Teenager Foy, signed from Liverpool on loan on Monday, showed encouraging signs of pace and skill on the ball, hammering one effort over the bar after a Walters shot had been blocked on the edge of the penalty area.
And the Dragons continued to dominate possession against their League One opponents with Darren Ferguson pushing forward to steer a diving header once more wide of the Doncaster goal.
A poor clearance by Shaun Pejic gave the visitors a rare opening but when James Coppinger crossed from the right, Mike McIndoe was unable to test Ingham and Wrexham broke quickly down the left for Smith to drive a low shot across the face of Warrington's goal.
Another mis-timed clearance, this time from Smith, gave Fortune-West an opportunity to knock the ball back but the Wrexham defender recovered his ground and did enough to deny Coppinger a clear strike on goal as the half-time interval beckoned.
The second continued in similar fashion, with Wrexham exerting all the pressure and winning two corners in quick succession. From the second, Holt saw his powerful header tipped away by Warrington at full-stretch, the goalkeeper then blocking a follow-up effort from Walters.
And Warrington came to his side's rescue yet again two minutes later, finger-tipping a fine shot from Ferguson behind before Wrexham's injury woes took a new turn on the hour.
Pejic and Ricky Ravenhill, who had both been booked in previous clashes, were both replaced after another crunching challenge, the Wrexham man being stretchered off and veteran Paul Warhurst coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.
Rovers recovered their composure quickest and Ingham did well at the feet of Lewis Guy before Coppinger snatched at a good opportunity and blazed the ball high into the stands behind the Dragons goal.
The hard-working Walters won a free kick 20 yards out when bundled over by Tim Ryan and, although Ferguson's quickly-taken free kick was blocked, it was Walters who got on the end of it and saw his shot deflected behind off the head of Steve Foster.
With extra time looming, Jones had another fine effort from 25 yards parried by the Rovers keeper, but almost immediately his acrobatics were matched at the other end by Ingham, who turned away McIndoe's free kick for the first corner won by the away side.
And the visitors produced the killer blow four minutes from time when Mulligan drove the ball in from the right and a deflection was turned in from close range by substitute Adam Hughes.
Man of the match: Jon Walters, for an unstinting and hardworking performance.
WREXHAM: Ingham; Pejic (Warhurst 62), Bayliss, Holt; Bennett (Mackin 81), Mark Jones, Ferguson, Williams, Smith; Foy (Done 89), Walters. Sub: Michael Jones.
BOOKED: Pejic, Smith.
DONCASTER ROVERS: Warrington; Ryan, Foster, McGuire, Fenton; Guy, McIndoe, Ravenhill (Hughes 60), Mulligan; Fortune-West, Coppinger (Offiong 71). Subs: Heffernan, McDaid, Richardson.
BOOKED : Ravenhill, Fenton, Mulligan
REFEREE: Jonathan Moss
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jon Walters. For an unstinting and hard-working performance.