Rovers Under 18's record of five wins in a row ended by Yorkshire rivals Bradford City.
Bradford City U18's- 3 (Pollard, Brennan, Greasley O.G)
Doncaster Rovers U18's- 2 (Wanless, Carberry)
Saturday 14th February, 2015
North East Youth Alliance League
11 am Kick Off
The Bantams took their chances in the first half which saw them leading 2-0 at the break, Rovers pressed hard in the second half but their late efforts were not enough to grab a draw.
The home side were fast out of the blocks, and it did not take them too long to have their first shot on target. Some quick feet by Dylan Mottley-Henry left him with yards of space to slide a through ball to Daniel Devine who's effort stung the palms of Rovers keeper Jack McLaren.
After an early wake up call Doncaster upped their game considerably, Ryan Wanless and Matthew Davies played some excellent one-two football in the Bradford half. Davies found some room on the edge of the box and his powerful effort was well held by Elliot Barker in the Bantams goal.
Against the run of play Bradford took the lead. A needless free kick was conceded by Wanless and up stepped Bradford captain Jimmy Pollard, his stunning right footed effort nestled in the top right corner of McLaren's goal leaving him with no chance.
That goal for the Bantams gave them extra incentive to push on for a second.
Devine's corner was not cleared at all by the Doncaster defence and the ball fell to Joe Brennan at the far post. He unleashed a powerful effort from six-yards which flew into the back of the net leaving the Rovers management team stunned after seeing their side dominate in the first 20 minutes.
Rovers nearly pulled one back on the stroke of half time, a sliced clearance from Bradford's Luca Mellor was caught on the half volley by Wanless, his effort only just flew wide of the goalkeepers left post.
Half Time: Bradford City U18's 2-0 Doncaster Rovers U18's
Bradford continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and it did not take them to long to test McLaren in the Doncaster goal once again.
Joe Brennan broke free of the Rovers defence and his right footed effort hit the post and luckily for Paul Stancliffe's men it rebounded into McLarens hands.
A loose ball on the edge of the Rovers box is picked up by Brennan his shot is destined for the back of McLarens goal but the goalkeeper produces a fingertip save of the highest quality and tipped it on the post and the ball was swept wide by Michael Carberry.
The Bantams pressure eventually broke down Doncaster, a cross from the right side by Mottley-Henry was slid into his own goal by Ben Greasley.
Rovers were not going to go down without a fight and they replied instantly through Ryan Wanless, he picked up a loose pass by Brennan on the edge his own box. Wanless with his laces powered the ball through a crowded box it took a deflection off one of the defenders and beat goalkeeper Barker who was at full stretch.
It was McLaren again who kept Doncaster in the game, Sam Wright was through on goal but a stunning one-on-one save kept the game at 3-1.
Rovers pulled another one back in injury time, a Davies corner was headed down at the back post by Kevin Mbuti into the path of Carberry who tapped the ball in from three yards out.
Rovers nearly pulled off the perfect comeback, Liam Mandeville stole the ball straight away from Bradford's kick off, he squared the ball to Davies and he returned the ball back to Mandeville. His shot was heading for the bottom left corner but unfortunately for Rovers a slide challenge from Luca Mellor saved all three points for Bradford.
Full Time: Bradford City U18's 3-2 Doncaster Rovers U18's
Bradford Starting XI: Barker, Pollard (C), Jenkinson, Mellor, Omolokin, Devine, Mottley-Henry Wright, Webb-Foster, Cissa (McBurnie 85'), Brennan.
Subs not used: Windle, Kershaw, Landy.
CAUTIONS: Cissa- 15', Pollard- 55'
Rovers Starting XI: McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head (C), Wanless, Mbuti, Davies, Parkin, Linley, Mandeville, Gordon (Longbottom 65').
Subs not used: Fielding, Iveson, Barker, Walker
CAUTIONS: Carberry- 15', Linley- 25', Parkin- 55', Davies- 90'