Grimsby Town 0
Doncaster Rovers 4 (Tyson, Bennett, Robinson, Peterson)
Blundell Park (1168 – 210 away fans)
Kyle Bennett starred for Doncaster Rovers as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over Skrill Premier side Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.
Bennett notched a goal and two assists on the evening as Rovers swapped the warm climes of their pre-season camp in Portugal for the rain-soaked Lincolnshire coast.
Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson – who notched either side of Bennett’s strike – were the main beneficiaries of the winger’s display as Rovers lead 3-0 at the break before Alex Peterson rounded a satisfying evening off for Paul Dickov, who arrived at half time.
The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start when a Bennett through ball found Tyson and the former Nottingham Forest and Derby County striker applied the deftest of touches to lift over the onrushing James McKeown in the Mariners goal.
Rovers continued to be the enforcers in the early stages and Harry Forrester forced McKeown in to action on more than one occasion and the ‘keeper stood firm, but not for long.
Bennett turned from provider to goalscorer on 20 minutes when a perfectly weighted ball from Marc De Val cut open the heart of the Town defence and he was coolness personified when rounding McKeown to slide home.
Despite a flurry of Grimsby corners, Ben Williams was rarely tested and even when Paul Hurst’s men did threaten, James Husband was on hand to deflect Nathan Almond’s goalbound shot away from goal.
Theo Robinson, on 31 minutes, capped a fine counter attack for the visitors which saw Bennett again involved and the influential winger squared for the Jamaican to sweep home and underline Rovers’ superiority.
Rovers made changes at half time with Jamie Ashdown replacing Williams and the former Leeds and Portsmouth ‘keeper did have more to do in a slightly more even second period, however the non-league outfit were masters of their own downfall as Nathan Almond and Azwad Thomas conspired to throw away many a good chance.
Forrester, who came through over an hour, thought he had continued the good work when he found the post from a free kick almost from the restart and James Husband also thought he was on the scoresheet when he drilled in to the side netting from an angle.
The game looked to be drawing to a somewhat plain ending before substitute Peterson popped up by cushioning a volley past the diving ‘keeper.
Aside from that, it was fairly plain sailing for the visitors who couldn’t really have wanted or expected too much more from what was essentially a run-out full of positives.
A young back four looked comfortable for large parts and the midfield looked a lot more settled.
Bigger tests await Rovers, of course, but this game certainly did them no harm.
Grimsby – McKeown, McLaughlin, Thomas, Aristoto, Pearson, Magnay, Mackreth, Trialist, Pittman, John-Lewis, Almond. (Bignot, Brown and Hannah all featured during the second half)
Doncaster – Williams (Ashdown, 46), Wakefield (Greasley, 90), Askins (Brown, 46), McCullough, Husband (P. McKay, 90), Bennett (Whitehouse, 60), De Val (Head, 87), Furman (Linley, 90), Forrester (Ferguson, 76), Robinson, Tyson (Peterson, 46).