Youth team get off to winning start against Magpies.
Rovers U18's - 1 (Williamson 5')
Notts County - 0
Saturday 8th August 2015 11.00am
Cantley Park Training Ground, Doncaster
Youth Alliance League.
Rovers came out on top in the first game of the new season at Cantley Park, as Conner Williamson's early header gave the home side the three points over visiting side Notts County.
Centre-back Kevin Mbuti came close early on after a long throw by Joe Pugh was flicked into the path of defender, who tried his best to guide the ball into the back of the net. It was the legs of goalkeeper, Joe Seardon-Smith, which came to the visitors rescue but Mbuti really should have scored.
From that resulting corner Rovers opened the scoring, a whipped corner from Ben Greasley was met by the head of Williamson who was waiting to apply the finish at the back post. County thought they had levelled the scoring almost instantly through Montel Gibson, but his chipped effort was ruled out by the linesman.
The visitors began to claw their way back into the game, Matthew Parkin's wayward pass was picked up by Yohan Rutty-Smith who curled a shot which looked destined for the top right-corner, but out came the hands of Louis Jones to push the ball out for a corner.
With 15 minutes of the first half remaining, Rovers had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee after Pugh was bundled over by defender Jordan Aghatise. A few moments later Mbuti had the chance to make it two, but he once again missed an easy opportunity to get his name on the score sheet.
The Magpies had the last chance of the first half, a cross from the right wing by Tamar Clayton-White was met by the outstretched leg of Rutty-Smith, but the forward could not direct the ball past Jones in the Doncaster goal.
HT: Doncaster Rovers U18's 1-0 Notts County U18's
County started the second half as they ended the first, on top. It was that man again Rutty-Smith who broke free of the Rovers defence, but his left-footed effort trickled harmlessly wide of the post.
A large majority of the second period was contested in midfield, with new u18's captain Jordan Linley putting in some solid challenges throughout.
It was not until the 68th minute that the next attempt came and it was for the Magpies. Rutty-Smith picked the ball up on the edge of the box following a clearance from a corner, the youngster smashed his effort against the crossbar and luckily for Rovers the ball bounced away from danger.
With a small chunk of the game left Rovers could have doubled their lead through striker Pugh, but his decision to try and round the goalkeeper turned out to be the wrong one as Seardon-Smith make a stunning low save.
The last chance of the game went to County as they pushed for a late equaliser that was never going to come, substitute Peter Dearle tried to lob Jones who was marginally off his goal line but thankfully for the keeper it went over the bar.
FT: Doncaster Rovers U18's 1-0 Notts County U18's
A well-earned three points for Rovers and Paul Wilson, as the new look youth side look to string some results together in order to claim the league title that they missed out on last season.
Rovers U18's Starting XI: Jones, Greasley, Barker, Williamson, Mbuti, Walker (Simms 78') Parkin, Linley (C), Pugh, Davies (Bingley 87') Longbottom.
Subs not used: Fielding and Sampson.
Notts County U18's Starting XI: Seardon-Smith, Charlton, Payling, Browne, Aghatise, Layton, Clayton-White, Wildin (C), Gibson, Howes (Dearle 80') Rutty-Smith.
Subs not used: Blainey, Parkes, Cobain and Richards.
Cautions: Charlton (Notts County)