Rovers' Development squad lost the opening game of the 2013/14 Central League campaign 2-1 to Mansfield Town.
Central League East Division
Referee – Mr Dean Bradshaw
The Development squad played their first game in the Central League for nearly a decade at home to Mansfield Town.
The visitors made the early running but didn’t trouble Maxted in the Rovers goal. In the 10th minute, Mansfield won a corner, which came out of the home defence to Meikle, who chipped on to the roof of the net.
Minutes later, good work by a trialist (no 21) on the Rovers right resulted in a great cross to the middle for Paynter, on his own, but his ball control let him down and the gift chance went begging.
Another corner to Mansfield came to nothing but in the 19th minute, a mistake by a Mansfield defender let in Syers, to the right of goal about 15 yards out but he fired over.
Three minutes later, good football on the Rovers right involving no 21 trialist, Syers and Paynter gave Middleton a chance of a shot from 20yards but it was blocked and cleared. At the other end Binns got in the way of a shot by Andrew. The rebound came out to Hutchinson, on the visiting right and his cross was headed over by Meikle.
Just before the half hour, Meikle had a strike from 18yards deflected for a corner. McCombe got his header on target but Binns was there to head away but Briscoe collected the ball and from the edge of the penalty area drove the ball just over the bar. Past the half hour the Rovers won their first corner and the visitors won two but nothing came from any of them. As time ran down to the break Harper gave Paynter chance of a shot from 25yards but Mitchell made the save. In the 45th minute Andrew, for the Stags, hit a cracking shot from 15yards that brought a great save from Maxted, diving to his right and parrying the ball well away.
Rovers got the second half underway, with each side making substitutions. One of them, Payne, for the Rovers, got in a cracker of a shot from 25yards in the 48th minute, which Mitchell could only parry back into play to the waiting Peterson. Peterson’s left footed blast from 6yards hit the underside of the bar and bounced away.
Four minutes later and Mansfield made the home team pay for that miss when a build-up on their right resulted in Sutton hitting a low cross to CLEMENTS to shoot into the net. Immediately Mansfield attacked again, with Hutchinson firing just wide of a post from 20yards.
Then, in the 54th minute, a poor back pass let in Peterson, who passed inside to PAYNE for him to hit a good low shot past the diving keeper. On the hour, Bennett hit a twenty-five yarder that Mitchell could only beat away. A minute later and the Stags took the lead when MEIKLE hit a cracker into the bottom corner. The Rovers tried to hit back but, following some good play, Middleton fired over from 25yards. Minutes later and Meikle had a go that Maxted had to put out for a corner.
The visitors continued to have the better of the play but the best was left to the last minute when Meikle hit a terrific drive against the bar and then Bennett, for the Rovers, was played through on goal with only the keeper to beat but fired low past the post.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Payne 54) Mansfield Town 2 (Clements 52 Meikle 61)
Teams – Rovers – Jon Maxted; Trialist, Liam Wakefield, Trialist, Jordan Binns; Trialist, Harry Middleton, James Harper, Kyle Bennett; David Syers, Billy Paynter
Subs used – Alex Peterson for Paynter 46 mins; Sanchez Payne for Syers 46 mins; Chris Whincop for Trialist;
Subs not used – Josh Meade, Jacob Dawson, Jack McLaren gk
Mansfield Town – Liam Mitchell; Ritchie Sutton, John McCombe, Ryan Tafazolli, Leon McSweeney; Lois Briscoe, Chris Clements, Eddie Ganhdre, Lindon Meikle; Calvin Andrew, Ben Hutchinson
Subs used – Oliver Palmer for Andrew 46 mins;