Doncaster Rovers yet again carried on the tradition of playing local non-league teams during the closed season as Paul Dickov’s side faced Retford United.
Once again Rovers fielded two entirely different teams in each half of the game in an effort to ensure every player in the squad got game time.
The first 45 saw Neil Sullivan in goal with a back four of Rob Jones, Liam Wakefield, Andy Griffin and Tommy Spurr ahead of him. The midfield consisted of Marc De Val Fernandez, David Cotterill and two trialists. Billy Paynter started the game upfront alongside a trialist.
Missing from the matchday squads were Paul Keegan (thigh), James Copppinger (illness), Jamie McCombe (back), Jon Maxted (illness).
Chances were hard to come by in the first half for Rovers as their opponents showed there intent from the off. The Badgers didn’t allow Dickov’s men any time on the ball in the first half and their determination to press the ball paid dividends when Reece Thompson fired past Neil Sullivan.
Rovers were unable to level the scores in the first half and went in at the break a goal down.
The second half saw a totally different line-up to the first; Neil Sullivan was replaced with a trialist in Rovers’ goal. The back four consisted of Paul Quinn, Evan Finnegan, Jean Yves M’voto and a trialist. Midfield saw David Syers join James Harper, James Husband, Josh Meade and Dean Furman whilst Chris Brown played up front.
There was a marked improvement from the off and Rovers started to get a foothold in the game.
Chris Brown scored his third goal in two games when he charged down the Retford keeper’s clearance early on to level the scores.
Brown then went on to bag another before David Syers added a third. Brown completed his hat-trick with a penalty kick making it 5 goals in 2 games.
After the game Paul Dickov gave his thoughts on this afternoon's proceedings: “Performance wise it was pretty poor; the player know that.
“First half especially we were sloppy with and without the ball; we gave away a sloppy goal and went 1-0 down.
“Second half we were better, we moved the ball around with a bit of purpose and got stuck in.
“It’s about setting standards individually and as a team; we need to set them standards high and we need to keep to them.”
“Since Tuesday night they have took a bit of a battering in training and maybe they were a little bit leggy today but that is what we want. We want them to be able to go out there and handle the ball when they are tired.