Two stunning goals from Evina and Forrester give Rovers fine win against Premier League outfit Sunderland.Wednesday 29th July, 2015.
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Pre Season Friendly, Kick off 7:45.Rovers started the game considerably better than their opponents and the home side could have been a goal to the good, but the goalpost came to the rescue of Patrick Van Aanholt and stranded Costel Pantilimon.
Rovers - 2 (Evina 15' Forrester 61')
Sunderland - 0
A cross from the left side courtesy of James Coppinger's luminous right boot was misjudged by left back Van Aanholt who sliced his clearance onto the post, luckily for the Black Cats it spun out for a corner kick.
Sunderland began to get a foot hold in the game, some lovely one touch football from new signing Jeremain Lens and Van Aanholt created some room for England International Jermaine Defoe. He rounded the keeper and would have slotted the ball home but for the out stretched yellow and orange flag from the linesman.
On the 15th minute a piece of brilliance from Cedric Evina opened the scoring.
Some top draw football from Coppinger and Richie Wellens paved the way for Harry Forrester to stand a delightful ball over the top of the Sunderland defence, which fell into the path of onrushing Evina, who rifled the ball past the large frame of Pantilimon.
Two penalty appeals in the space of two minutes from either side as Steven Fletcher and Forrester took a tumble inside the box but referee James Adcock ordered both players to get back onto their feet.
Sunderland had their first shot of the game just before the half an hour mark from winger Adam Johnson. The man from the North-East let fly from 25 yards out but his rocket of an effort flew well over Thorsten Stuckmann's crossbar.
Van Aanholt set off like a steam train down the left side and passed McCullough like he was not even there, the Dutchman continued into the box and let off a powerful low effort that looked to be creeping into the bottom left corner when Andy Butler's out stretched leg came to the rescue to deflect it out for a corner.
As the half came to a close the Black Cats began to turn on the style and were nearly level once again, Defoe picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and with the goal gaping he really should have hit the back of it, but the corporal Rob Jones was having none of it as he put his body on the line to keep Rovers a goal up.
Half time: Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Sunderland.
The Premier League side made a handful of changes at half time including new signing Younes Kaboul and it was Sunderland who had the first effort of the half.
A ball from Emanuele Giaccherini found ex-Swansea City man Danny Graham on the edge of the box, he created some space for himself by turning Butler and taking aim looking for the bottom left corner but the big German in Rovers goal was having none of it.
Just after the hour mark, Forrester made it two with another superbly taken goal.
Evina's pass was cut out on the edge of the Sunderland box by Jack Rodwell but his clearance was charged down by the hard working Harry Middleton, it fell kindly to Forrester who nearly broke the back of the net with his effort.
Sunderland started to show some of their Premier League quality late into the second half with Johnson and Lens trying their luck from long range but a man of the match performance from the defiant Stuckmann kept Rovers in front.
Middleton had the last effort of the game after Wellens slid a delightful through ball into the youngster's path but he could not beat the large frame of Costel Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal.
Paul Dickov named a relatively young bench and he was not afraid to throw them all in at the deep end late into the second half, special mention must go to Joe Pugh who came on to make his first team debut after impressing the gaffer in a development game in which he scored two against Armthorpe Welfare earlier in the week.
DRFC Starting XI: Stuckmann (Marosi 82'), Evina( P. McKay 85'), McCullough, Jones (C), Butler, Wellens (Linley 85'), Forrester (Pugh 82'), Keegan (Whitehouse 67'), Taylor-Sinclair, Coppinger (Mandeville 82'), Middleton (Carberry 85').
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, Van Aanholt, Cattermole (Larsson 45'), Rodwell (Bridcutt 71'), Fletcher (Graham 45'), Johnson (Buckley 82') , O'Shea (Kaboul 45'), Lens (Watmore 82'), Defoe (Giaccherini 45'), Coates.
Unused Subs: Matthews, Pickford, Mannone