Goals galore at Cantley Park as Rovers Under 21’s win again to remain in the race for top spot.Doncaster Rovers- 3 (Ferguson 32’ , Pugh 42’ , Head 51’ )
Mansfield Town- 2 (Bingham 62’ , Rhead 72’)
Wednesday 11th March, 2015
Cantley Park, Doncaster
Final Third Development League
A superb first half performance from Doncaster Rovers U21's was nearly unravelled by Mansfield's U21's after a second half comeback. If it was not for Marko Marosi in the Rovers goal things could have been much worse for the South Yorkshire side.
The opening 15 minutes were dominated by Rovers, some slick passing around the team nearly opened the Mansfield defence up relatively early but Liam Mandeville's effort was dragged harmlessly wide of the left post.
It was the Stags who had the first shot on target though, Corbin Shires played an inch perfect through ball into the path of Rakish Bingham but his right footed effort was easily scooped up by Marko Marosi.
A hard tackle by Matt Rhead on Matthew Davies left the Rovers winger down for a lengthy period of time before play continued, the midfielder had to leave the field on crutches after 20 minutes.
Substitute Joseph Pugh had a brilliant chance to opening the scoring, Mandeville took the ball from his own half, after beating four players he pulled the ball back to the edge of the box to the onrushing Pugh but a superb block sliding tackle from Liam Marsden kept the score at 0-0.
Rovers eventually broke the deadlock.
Billy Whitehouse unleashed a dipping shot from 20-yards out, Mansfield goalkeeper Sasha Studer fumbled his effort which left an open goal gaping for Lewis Ferguson to slide the ball into the back of the net.
It took the home side less than eight minutes to double their lead.
Goalkeeper Studer will not want to re-live a moment like this again, his shocking clearance landed straight at the feet of Pugh who audaciously chipped the stranded goalkeeper from 25-yards, a stunning goal from the new signing.
Half Time: Doncaster Rovers U21's 2-0 Mansfield Town U21's
It didn't take Rob Jones' men to long to get into their stride again, as central midfielder Alex Head produced a goal of real quality.
Picking up the ball in the middle of the pitch, he advanced a few yards and unleashed an unstoppable low drive that had Studer well beaten down to his left.
Looking to find a way back into the game, Mansfield began to pile on the pressure and it paid off straight away.
A ball over the top by Bingham was picked up by Anthony Dwyer who advanced into the box, there was a big supicion of hand ball in the build up to the pass but the referee let the game continue, full back Richard Eckersley miss-timed his challenge and down went Dwyer. Penalty to the Stags.
Up stepped Bingham who passed the ball into the bottom right corner sending Marosi the opposite side.
Mansfield made it 3-2 on the 72nd minute, Rovers failed to clear a cross from the right side and the ball was picked up by Matt Rhead who lashed the ball into the left corner leaving Marosi with no chance.
The Stags continued to throw the kitchen sink at the Rovers defence and it nearly paid off; a delightful through ball was played to Rhead once more, his shot was destined for the back of Marosi's net but out of nowhere his right hand shot up and tipped the ball round the post, a brilliant save to keep Rovers in the lead late in the second half.
Eckersley had the final chance of the game but his shot from a tricky angle was eventually held by a shaky Studer in the Mansfield goal.
Full Time: Doncaster Rovers U21's 3-2 Mansfield Town U21's
DRFC Starting XI: Marosi, Eckersley, Lund, Head, Wakefield (Carberry 72'), P.McKay, Whitehouse (McCormick 82'), Middleton, Ferguson, Davies (Pugh 20').
Unused DRFC Subs: McLaren, Linley
MTFC Starting XI: Studer, Marsden, Raynes, Bingham, Rose, Fitzpatrick (Thomas 45'), Shires (Blake 79'), Rhead, Fisher (Spencer 45'), Danquah, Dwyer.
Unused MTFC Subs: Bishop
Middleton (DRFC) (62')
Thomas (MTFC) (66')
Spencer (MTFC) (79')