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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

11 July 2023 Venue Jakemans Community Stadium, Boston Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

Boston United
2 - 3
Doncaster Rovers
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Match Reports

REPORT | Boston United 2 Rovers 3

11 July 2023

Rovers made it two wins from two in pre-season as Joe Ironside’s first half brace helped them on their way to a 3-2 triumph at Boston United.

Tommy Rowe also netted in the opening period as Rovers came from behind to see off National League North opposition.

Boss Grant McCann again fielded two different XIs as he focused on fitness on the trip to the Jakemans Community Stadium.

Rovers were at their most threatening in the first half, when their lead could easily have been greater. After the break, the friendly became a more attritional affair with the hosts proving very game.

Ironside and Richard Wood both sent efforts straight at Boston keeper Cameron Gregory inside the first few minutes.

But Rovers fell behind on seven minutes courtesy of an excellent strike from Keaton Ward. The threat from the hosts was only half cleared and Ward capitalised to find the bottom corner with a precision finish from 20 yards.

It proved to be a difficult opening to the game for Rovers as Boston started with real intensity, pressing high up the pitch and causing plenty of problems.

But once Rovers settled, they began to threaten on a regular basis.

Harrison Biggins and trialist Deji Sotona both fired wide in quick succession while the former sent an audacious effort from 40 yards narrowly wide.

The equaliser came on 18 minutes. Ironside drifted across to the front post to meet an excellent cross from Biggins, and while his first time strike was saved, he slotted home at the second attempt.

Rovers almost went ahead within seconds of the leveller as George Broadbent met a deep cross on the volley only for Gregory to bat away the strike.

But by 26 minutes they were in front. Rowe latched onto a clearance, shifted the ball into space and cracked a shot from 25 yards which deflected home.

Two minutes later, Rovers had their third of the evening. A well-worked move put Kyle Hurst into acres of space on the left and he cut a low pass back for Ironside who raced in to slot home.

Sotona saw a shot deflected wide after a great run as Rovers maintained the pressure while Joseph Olowu and Broadbent were both denied by blocks in quick succession.

James Maxwell fired wide from distance as the half moved into time added on while Rowe hooked wide from the edge of the area in the last act of the half.

An entirely new XI was sent on at the break for Rovers and, with multiple changes for the hosts, it brought a high tempo start to the second period.

One of the Boston substitutes, former Rovers midfielder now Academy coach Martin Woods struck the bar from 30 yards in the early stages.

The pace was not maintained however, with the game becoming much more of a midfield battle for long stretches.

Boston arguably posed the greater threat in the second half. A free kick from a Pilgrims trialist drifted all the way through and struck the inside of the post before bouncing into the arms of a grateful Ben Bottomley.

Zak Mills headed narrowly wide from a Woods cross while Gyasi struck narrowly wide after a good run.

Luke Molyneux sparked threat for Rovers in the later stages. He could not keep down an attempt to lob keeper Jake Lovelace after being sent through on the angle.

And he tested Lovelace moments later, after producing a trademark run inside from the right, cutting across the face of the box before firing low.

Tavonga Kuleya thought he had extended Rovers’ lead on 79 minutes after meeting a low ball from Jack Goodman only to be flagged offside.

Kuleya was sent clean through but could not squeeze his shot beyond Lovelace.

And it was the hosts who struck next, when awarded a penalty. Gyasi stepped up and slotted home from 12 yards.

Zain Westbrooke looked to catch Lovelace off guard with a free kick from the left but saw his strike pushed away at the near post.

Rovers first half: Lawlor, Sterry, Olowu, Wood, Maxwell, Biggins, Broadbent, Rowe, Sotona, Ironside, Hurst.

Rovers second half: Bottomley, Seaman, Faulkner, Long, Senior, Westbrooke, Bailey, Degruchy, Molyneux, Goodman, Kuleya.

Subs not used: Watson, Flint, Adamson, Wood.

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