Doncaster manager Dean Saunders backed his side to continue improving after they grabbed a dramatic 2-1 victory at Oldham.

Substitute David Syers headed home in injury time as Rovers stepped up their bid for promotion from npower League One.

Saunders said: "We aren't stringing passes together as much as I'd like, but we're getting results and that's all that matters. I'm learning about the players all the time and we will carry on building and getting better over the next few months."

The visitors took a third-minute lead when Billy Paynter's effort came back off the post and defender Rob Jones headed in the rebound from eight yards. Oldham then took control and made several chances before levelling after 27 minutes, Youssouff M'Changama's 25-yard drive flying through the grasp of Rovers goalkeeper Gary Woods.

The busy Woods made a fine save to deny Jean Yves Mvoto and, in a close-fought second half, both sides were on course for a point. But Rovers left-back Tommy Spurr swung in a deep 91st-minute cross and Syers headed past Oldham goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis from close range.

"I've given the players a short-term target and a target for how many points we'll need by the end of the season," Saunders added. "I won't go into detail, but the first priority is to get through the Christmas period in at least the same league position as we started.

"You could say scoring in the last minute is a bit of luck, but our full-back was still getting forward and we showed the desire to take all three points. Oldham are a good side on their day and I expected chances at both ends, which is what happened, so I'm delighted to win."

Oldham manager Paul Dickov remained in upbeat mood despite his team suffering a third consecutive defeat. Dickov said: "Doncaster are one of the best teams in this league and we more than matched them. Over 90 minutes we deserved at least a draw. We'll be fine if we keep performing like that.

"We had 11 shots to Doncaster's four and there were times in the first half when we were excellent. To concede so early was obviously poor, but we reacted really well and were a bit disappointed to come in level at half-time.

"It came down to game management because we left ourselves open with our over-eagerness to get players into their box. Teams will pick you off when you make that sort of mistake, so it's very disappointing to get nothing when we didn't deserve to lose."