A travelling army of 10,000 descended on Merseyside in hope ahead of an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Goodison Park and this time, the venue was a little closer to home.
There was expectation again on a night when Rovers' class of 1984-85 were introduced to the crowd at the interval.
Up until the final quarter, this latest meeting had the tantalising potential to be great and glorious for Doncaster.
The side who are currently bottom of the EFL were ensuring that Everton - on their first competitive visit to this part of South Yorkshire in almost 70 years - were in grave danger of adding to their litany of embarrassing cup upsets to the likes of Shrewsbury, York and Oldham.
Joe Ironside, whose previous claim to fame saw him down Newcastle while in the colours of Cambridge United at St James’ Park in an FA Cup tie in
January 2022, got the giant-killing taste again after putting the hosts ahead in the 44th minute.
Rovers were scenting a first ever victory over a Premier League side at the Eco-Power Stadium.
That it took a £30m new signing in Portuguese striker Beto to spare Everton’s blushes spoke volumes.
He scored a classy leveller and Arnaut Danjuma completed the job late as Rovers eventually succumbed.
Grant McCann does not like losing, but there has to be major perspective here.
His side - minus a number of players - were outstanding and the trick now is to use this template to remedy a poor start to the league season.
Home supporters clapped them off the pitch at half-time and at the end following a hugely encouraging night when they produced a display to be proud of.
Rovers set the tone in the first half with a performance which was everything that McCann could have possibly wished for and the gloss arrived shortly before the interval.
They out-enthused and out-fought those in blue, but that was doing them a disservice in truth. Rovers did more than hassle and harry Everton, they significantly worried them and unhinged them.
The opener had controversy, given that Ironside looked offside. With no VAR in operation, Doncaster profited and those from Merseyside could have no gripe in the interval scoreline, which was a fair one.
They made their feelings known with a cascade of understandable boos towards those in the royal blue. Those in red and white received a standing ovation.
Everton, aside from a couple of chances either side of Rovers’ opener were just not at it. This was no fudge-it line-up either with one eye on Saturday’s Premier League game at nearby Sheffield United. It contained seven players who started last weekend.
Sean Dyche made his feelings known at what he was seeing at junctures and his angst was there to see alongside Steve Stone and Ian Woan.
The recalled Luke Molyneux, in particular, caused major problems for Vitaliy Mykolenko, who had a nightmare and it was his needlessly conceded corner that led to the opener.
Everton switched off and Tommy Rowe’s sweet cross saw Ironside nip in front of Jordan Pickford to nod in, right in front of the Black Bank.
Suitably stunned, Amadou Onana tested Ian Lawlor with a low drive. Fittingly, the half ended with Rovers having the last word with Rowe going close to a second, with Jordan Pickford forced into meaningful work right on the interval whistle.
Aside from a slick piece of play in isolation which ended in Danjuma firing wide from a tight angle, Everton were simply wretched in the opening 40 minutes with Zain Westbrooke coming close for the hosts with a stinging drive and Rowe also firing just over.
Dyche had to do something and did with Beto summoned alongside Ashley Young and Idrissa Gueye.
Rovers were not for going away. Far from it.
Another switch-off from a short corner saw George Broadbent test Pickford before Mykolenko produced a rare positive contribution to block a goalbound effort from Mo Faal after piercing work from Rowe, excellent alongside Westbrooke in the middle ground. Dyche remained visibly anxious in his technical area.
As well as Rovers had played, there was the realisation that they would surely, surely field a concerted spell of pressure from the Merseysiders at some point.
It arrived, eventually, with Beto going from the ridiculous to sublime following an awful skewed miss. Straight after, he outpaced Joseph Olowu to Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pinpoint pass and proding the ball nicely past the advancing Lawlor - to the mass relief of Evertonians.
They wryly sang ‘We’ve scored a goal’. It was their side’s first in competitive action since May 28.
Their catalyst in Beto smacked a header against the post before Danjuma clipped the bar with a curler as the effects of a fine night’s work started to finally catch up with Rovers, who had substituted the immaculate, but tiring Rowe.
That was confirmed when Danjuma slotted in the winner as pressure finally told.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor; Bailey, Olowu, Senior; Molyneux, Broadbent, Rowe (Roberts 70), Westbrook (Sotana 90+3), Maxwell (Goodman 90+3); Faal (Straughan-Brown 83), Ironside. Substitutes unused: Jones, Wood, Long, Faulkner, Kuleya.
Everton: Pickford; Patterson (Young 45), Godfrey, Keane, Mykolenko (Tarkowski 75); Garner, Onana; Dobbin (Gueye 45), Doucoure (Maupay 84), Danjuma; Chermiti (Beto 45). Unused substitutes: Virginia, Branthwaite, Onyango.
Referee: T Reeves (Warwickshire).