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REPORT: ROVERS U18s 3-1 Norwich U18s AET

18 December 2014

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'Cracker-Jack' McKay at the treble to send Rovers swanning through to next round.

Doncaster Rovers U18’s 3 (J. McKay, 38 (pen), 102, 113)
Norwich City U18’s 1 (Efete, 88)
FA Youth Cup Round 3
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

Jack McKay notched a dream hat-trick to send his side through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup and set up a tie with Premier League opposition.

The first team hopeful struck twice in extra time to ensure progression to the next stage of the competition, away at Swansea City.

With first team manager Paul Dickov watching from the stands, McKay put on a finishing display that his fellow Scot – in his pomp – would have been proud of.

A first half penalty – which was coolly tucked away – was not enough to prevent the game going the distance, however, as impressive Norwich full back Michee Efete glanced home with seconds to spare.

Rovers, though, kicked on in the additional period – spearheaded by their talisman – and were rewarded by the goal of the game when McKay robbed his marker of possession and finished emphatically past Aston Oxborough in the City goal.

The tie was put to bed seven minutes from time as Oxborough fumbled and McKay was quickest to pounce.

The victory was fully deserved as the hosts were fastest out of the blocks and showed that they belonged in such company.

Rovers more than matched their opponents in the early stages and, although Jordan Linley was forced to hurl himself in the way of a powerful drive from centre back Nathan Fox, it was Paul Stancliffe’s side that did the majority of the early pressing.

Matthew Davies could have shown more composure when faced with a 2 against 1 opportunity but sold McKay short and the chance was spurned.

Davies had a corner within the opening quarter of an hour which caused havoc in the Norwich 6 yard box and the failure to clear the dangers set alarm bells ringing in the Canaries back line.

Some crunching tackles and typical exuberance from the youngsters added some much needed spice to the opening 45 minutes which threatened to dwindle until Davies was hauled down in the area and McKay’s smartly taken spot-kick sent Aston Oxborough the wrong way.

Half time: Doncaster Rovers U18’s 1-0 Norwich City U18’s

The Canaries noticeably upped the tempo in the second half and, only minutes in, Jamie Eaton-Collins forced Jack McLaren in to a smart save with the follow up prompting a goal line clearance from Captain Paul McKay.

On 51 minutes, Aron Gordon wriggled free in the box and drilled a low shot at the near post, which was saved by Oxborough, while at the other end Eaton-Collins poked past McLaren and, crucially, his upright.

Norwich continued to press midway through the half and Nathan Fox headed on to the bar, before Benny Ashley-Seal nodded over, while the hosts’ best chances were restricted to set pieces.

Jack McKay brought the best out of Oxborough with a rasping curler from a free kick on the edge of the box.

Stancliffe’s men could have settled the contest, however Liam Mandeville’s tame effort never troubled the opposing ‘keeper and the Canaries took advantage when, after being fouled, the impressive Efete took the game beyond the ninety minutes.

Full time: Doncaster Rovers U18’s 1-1 Norwich City U18’s

Rovers were the only ones to find another gear in extra time and rallied to devastating effect. McKay squandered a good opportunity when choosing to go it alone in the 99th minute, but would pick the pocket of his marker only three minutes later to force home.

Half time in Extra Time: Doncaster Rovers U18’s 2-1 Norwich City U18’s

The energetic Davies wove his way in to the area on 106 minutes and squared to Mandeville who was denied at the last by a yellow shirt.

Five minutes later, full back Michael Carberry bizarrely ducked an inswinging free kick, only for Lewis Byrne-Hewitt to sidefoot off the turf and on to McLaren’s bar.

With that let off in mind, Rovers went down the other end and poached a much needed third which signed, sealed and delivered their fourth round place. Oxborough couldn’t hold Alex Head’s deep free kick and McKay’s instinct earned him the matchball and potential inclusion for the first team’s trip to Swindon on Saturday.

Rovers – McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head, P. McKay (C), M’Buti, Davies, J. McKay, Mandeville, Gordon (McCormick, 78), Linley.
Subs not used – Parkin, Iveson (GK), Wanless, Barker.
Booked – Carberry (79), M’Buti (117).

City – Oxborough, Efete, Ramsay, Grant (C), Fox, Burgess, Eaton-Collins (Cole, 84), Byrne-Hewitt, Ashley-Seal, Cantwell, Lewis (Couzens, 67).
Subs not used – Black, Beauchamp, Syme.
Booked – Fox (76), Ashley-Seal (107).

Attendance – 318.

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