Rovers snatch victory away from rivals in a thrilling local derby at Cantley Park.
Doncaster Rovers U18s 3 (Mandeville 21’, 83’, Head (Pen) 62’)
Scunthorpe United U18s 3 (Shilling 10’, Dyche 73’, 76’)
Cantley Park, Doncaster
11am, Saturday 21st February 2015
North East Youth Alliance League
On a chilly day at Cantley Park it would have been no surprise if the game took a while to heat up but both sides started brightly in an attempt to get on top in this local derby and it didn’t take long for the opening goal.
Scunthorpe caused problems on the left hand side and the early defensive frailties on this wing were exploited successfully by the visitors in the 10th minute.
Noel Burdett worked himself some space before driving the ball low across the face of goal, it bypassed Jack McLaren and found Sonny Shilling lurking at the back post to slot it into an empty net.
Rovers struggled to find their feet early on and had to wait until the 16th minute for their first real chance. A fine flowing move involving Captain Alex Head and Joseph McCormick took the home side into the penalty area. The ball was eventually played into the feet of a lunging Matthew Davies who, could only steer the ball over the bar from 6 yards out.
A corner in the 20th minute almost brought an equaliser with Connor Williamson heading wide of Pat Weaver’s right post and it appeared Rovers wouldn’t have to wait much longer for their first goal.
Moments later, the Scunthorpe defence failed to clear another corner from Davies and as a goalmouth scramble ensued, Liam Mandeville was on hand to stab the ball home on the line.
Davies, who looked lively all afternoon, was close to grabbing Rovers’ second almost instantly after producing a fine darting run from midfield before launching a superb curling effort towards goal from 20 yards only to see Weaver turn it behind.
The game then quietened down, with chances few and far between before half time.
Half-time: Rovers U18’s 1 Scunthorpe U18’s 1
Scunthorpe started the second half as they did the first, only this time they didn’t find the net.
Some ill-discipline from Rovers presented Scunthorpe with a number of free-kicks and Levi Sutton was close to making Rovers pay with a curling effort which sailed wide of the post from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute.
The visitors were well on top and were left dumbfounded on the hour mark after McLaren produced a stunning double save in front of goal to deny them.
They were even more surprised when, against the run of play, Rovers were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute. Head kept his cool to send Weaver the wrong way and put Rovers in front.
Scunthorpe, feeling somewhat aggrieved, began to make their assault on the Rovers goal. First, Sutton’s low driven shot went narrowly wide in the 68th minute before Connor Purdue went close with a header in the 71st minute.
Eventually the pressure paid two minutes later as Burdett’s stunning run carved open the Rovers defence before he played a fine ball across the box to Jack Dyche who made no mistake to equalise.
Dyche was on hand once again three minutes later as Scunthorpe produced a quick-fire double to take the lead for the second time in the match. A fine cross from Shilling was met by Burdett who set up his strike partner to slot the ball into the corner of the goal.
Charlie Cleminshaw came close to sealing victory for the Iron in the 79th minute, blasting a shot wide from close range and it proved to be a costly miss.
Rovers began to push for the equaliser and in the 83rd minute they were rewarded for their efforts. Michael Carberry delivered a fine free-kick from the right hand side, Weaver managed to push it away but only as far as Mandeville who calmly finished to snatch victory from Scunthorpe.
Davies and Jordan Linley came close to grabbing all three points for Rovers in the dying embers of the match but Weaver was on hand to deny them and both sides had to settle for a point in a thrilling local derby.
Full Time: Rovers U18’s 3 Scunthorpe U18’s 3.
Rovers Starting XI: McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head ©, Williamson (Gordon), Mbuti, Davies, Parkin, McCormick, Mandeville, Linley
Subs not used: Iveson, Wanless, Longbottom, Barker
Scunthorpe Starting XI: Weaver, Baker, Butroid, Sutton, Hare, Cleminshaw, Shilling, Purdue, Burdett, Dyche, Mosanya
Subs not used: Stockill, Ledger, Watkis, Dean-Atkinson, McMichael