Leeds United 1 (Cook 14’)
Thursday 13th August, 7.45pm
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Capital One Cup, Round One
It was a fairly quiet opening fifteen minutes in this Capital One Cup Yorkshire derby, however it didn’t take long for either side to get going.
Rovers enjoyed early possession playing a nice passing game in midfield with early exchanges between Richie Wellens and Harry Middleton however it was visitors Leeds United who went ahead at a noisy Keepmoat Stadium.
Souleymane Doukara broke with pace down the left, beating Rob Jones. His dangerous ball into the box was well saved by Thorsten Stuckmann but the Lewis Cook was there to calmly slot home the rebound. The visitors went ahead.
The home side went agonisingly close to equalising through James Coppinger as the ball bounced in front of him eight yards out. He went for a lob over the charging Ross Turnbull but it was excellently cleared off the line by the Leeds defence.
On the half hour mark Rovers got the equaliser they deserved. Cedric Evina switched to left wing and charging into the box was bought down by defender Scott Wootton. The referee took no time at all in pointing to the spot for a penalty kick.
New signing Andy Williams stepped up for Paul Dickov’s side and slotted the ball low to Turnbull’s left. All square.
Leeds were reduced to ten men shortly after Rovers equaliser. Goalscorer Cook went in two footed on Aaron Taylor-Sinclair leaving the referee no choice but to produce the red card. Leeds down to ten.
That was the talking point of the half and the sides went in level at the break with all to play for in the second half.
Rovers started the second half strongly with the majority of the possession being played in the Leeds half.
Harry Forrester caused problems with his surging runs through the midfield. He created a great chance for himself beating a number of players but he couldn’t get hold of his left footed shot to test Turnbull.
It was the home side who threatened again, this time Williams received the ball from Wellens, striking the ball first time he forced a great save from Turnbull who was at full stretch.
Despite Rovers enjoying all the possession, they struggled to find the final ball and test Turnbull.
Substitute Nathan Tyson came close to putting Rovers into the lead with a fantastic solo run. Beating five Leeds men he took a tumble in the box before releasing his shot. there were shouts for a penalty all round but the referee waved play on.
It was non stop in the final ten minutes as Middleton played an inch perfect ball into the box towards Williams. The striker headed the ball across goal but a full stretch Nathan Tyson couldn’t find a touch to apply the finish.
With 30 seconds remaining Taylor-Sinclair stood over a free kick. He whipped a dangerous ball towards the top corner but the former Rovers goalkeeper denied the hosts again.
The full time whistle was blown and the match was to go to extra time.
Despite being a man down, it was Leeds who started extra time the better of the two sides. Marco Antenucci picked up the ball and skipped past the Rovers defence, before releasing a powerful shot with his right foot. However a strong right hand from Stuckmann denied him.
There was a nervy moment for Rovers as a routine save for Stuckmann somehow slipped through his fingers knocking the ball onto the post. Fortunately he was able to regather the ball.
It was all Rovers for the final few minutes of extra time but they just couldn't find the winning goal, not through lack of effort.
Rovers win 4-2 on penalties
Rovers: Stuckmann, McCullough, Butler, Jones (c), Taylor-Sinclair, Evina (Tyson 72'), Wellens, Middleton (Main 100'), Forrester, Coppinger, Williams.
Subs not used: Marosi, Lund, MacKenzie, P.McKay, Whitehouse.
Leeds: Turnbull, Wootton, Cooper (c), Antenucci, Mowatt (Byram 74'), Doukara (Murphy 67'), Dallas (Wood 67'), Taylor, Cook, Berardi, Bellusci.
Subs not used: Silvestri, Bamba, Erwin, Phillips