Big guns see Rovers past local rivals.Rovers – 4 (Forrester, 9, 37; Mandeville, 70; McCullough, 88)
Rotherham – 1 (Johnson, 19)
Wednesday 16th December, 2015
Cantley Park, Doncaster
Final Third Development League
A strong Doncaster Rovers Development side swept aside their Rotherham United counterparts in the final game before Christmas.
A first half brace for Harry Forrester was doubled in the second by Liam Mandeville and Luke McCullough.
Rovers named a side that contained nine first team squad members against a below strength Millers outfit.
Therefore it was no surprise when the hosts took the lead inside nine minutes. Good work down the right hand side from Cameron Stewart saw Mandeville flick in to Forrester and his turn on the edge of the box resulted in a placed shot in to the bottom left corner.
Nine minutes later, Stewart was again in the thick of the action and shrugged off a tackler to rattle the base of the post after working his way towards the edge of the box. Seconds later, Paul Keegan – in his role as Captain – looped a header on to the bar and the hosts really could have been out of sight before twenty minutes had elapsed.
As it was, with their first meaningful attack of the game, a deep cross from Kula Mustive picked out Adam Johnson at the back post and his assured header looped over a wrong-footed Marko Marosi.
Mandeville should have restored Rovers’ lead midway through the first half but he was profligate when Forrester turned provider and his rising shot grazed the crossbar of Laurence Bilboe in the Millers goal.
Rovers ended the half much how they had begun it and Bilboe was called upon either side of Forrester’s – and Rovers – second. The impressive Billy Whitehouse, deployed at right back, had already linked up neatly with Curtis Main to test the stopper before Forrester tapped home on the rebound from another Main strike.
The mercurial number 10 created something out of nothing to hammer a 25 yard goal bound effort but was thwarted by Bilboe who ensured his side remained, somehow, in the contest.
Half time: Rovers 2-1 Rotherham
The opening exchanges of the second period were lacklustre in the extreme and the tedium was only broken when a through ball to Mustive was taken round Marosi but the livewire forward couldn’t convert and smacked first the post with the ball and then the turf with his fist in frustration.
That was the closest the visitors came and despite a few sighters from midfielder Mason Warren, the crucial next goal went the way of Rovers.
Stewart teed up Main whose low drive was spilled in to the path of Mandeville to tap home through a crowd of bodies on 70 minutes, despite the protestations of the Millers defenders appealing for offside.
A satisfactory afternoon was completed when Keegan swung in a free kick and McCullough glanced home in to an unguarded net, although how much he knew about it remains a mystery.
Full time: Rovers 4-1 Rotherham
Rovers - Marosi; Williamson, Davies, Whitehouse, McCullough, Chaplow, Keegan, Forrester (Parkin, 77), Stewart (Greasley, 71), Mandeville, Main
Not used: M’Buti, Parkin, Longbottom
Rotherham – Bilboe; Bailey, Smalley, Potts (Wiles, 45), McDonald, Rose, King, Warren, Yates, Mustive, Johnson
Not used: Adeyemi, Abraham, Saxton, Fiddler