Paul Stancliffe's men dominate from start to finish.
Doncaster Rovers U18s – 2 (Mbuti 12’, Longbottom 33’)
Hartlepool United U18s – 0
Saturday 2nd April 2016, 11:00am
Cantley Park Training Ground, Doncaster
Youth Alliance League
After getting back to winning ways in their last game against Notts County, the U18s were keen to get back onto the field and make a late push for the Youth Alliance League title.
It was a blistering start by the hosts as Ryan Wanless darted through the middle of the Hartlepool defence before releasing the ball to better placed Will Longbottom, the striker was about to pull the trigger but he was denied due to a last ditch challenge from Nat Skidmore.
From that resulting corner Rovers broke the deadlock.
A whipped left-footed cross from Michael Carberry was not cleared by the flat footed Hartlepool defence, the ball fell to the feet of Kevin Mbuti who lashed the ball into the roof of the net to give the hosts the lead.
On the 19th minute the visitors were up in arms claiming for a penalty, but the man in black was not interested and waved away any protests.
Just after the half an hour mark Rovers were two goals to the good, a cross from the right by Tyler Walker took a slight but fortunate nick, the ball landed at the feet of Longbottom who rifled his effort into the net via the keepers left post.
Hartlepool had their final chance of the first half and it came through captain Jack Turnbull, a quick-free kick from the Pool was laid back to Turnbull who unleashed a daisy-cutter that was just wide of Louis Jones’ left post.
Half-time: Doncaster Rovers U18s 2-0 Hartlepool United U18s
It was another solid start by the hosts as they had their first effort on goal just three minutes after the break, a lofted ball to the back post by Longbottom was met by the on-rushing Jordan Linley who had his effort ushered out for a corner kick.
Like they did in the first half, Rovers nearly scored from the resulting corner. Another delicious ball from Carberry was met by the head of Conner Williamson but this time goalkeeper Ryan Catterick got down well to make the smart save.
Paul Stancliffe’s men had their third effort on goal in the second half on the 51st minute, as Wanless offloaded to Longbottom once again, this time his shot was tipped onto the post by Catterick who he had already beaten earlier in the game.
The unusually quiet Joe Pugh came to life on the 75th minute as he broke through the Hartlepool defence with ease, the striker hit a shot from 25-yards out which cannoned off the post and wide.
He was at it again two minutes later but this time it was from a set piece, a ball came over from Linley it was originally cleared off the line from an Mbuti header, it dropped to Pugh who though he had forced the ball over the goal line but the linesman was unconvinced.
Hartlepool were offered a lifeline on the 84th minute as the referee awarded a questionable penalty to the visitors as Liam Travers was apparently bundled over in the box, up stepped Jack Blackford who had his effort superbly saved by the diving Jones.
Travers went from hero to zero for the visitors as he was shown a straight red card on the 86th minute for reckless play, a looping ball was met by the head of Williamson but he was caught in the face by the studs of Travers who was correctly dismissed.
The Pool had the last chance of the game and it came from Jacob Owens, it fell to the full back and he unleashed a thunderbolt that was inches away from sneaking into the top right corner, nevertheless a solid and professional performance for the hosts.
Full-time: Doncaster Rovers U18s 2-0 Hartlepool United U18s
DRFC STARTING XI: Jones, Turnbull, Carberry, Williamson (Fielding 86’), Mbuti, Walker, Longbottom, Linley (C), Pugh, Wanless, Henderson.
DRRC SUBS NOT USED: Leverton, Barker, James, Prior
HUFC STARTING XI: Catterick, Owen, Turnbull (C), Wood, Skidmore, Fielding, Travers, Hawkes, Jewson, Elliot, Blackford.
HUFC SUBS NOT USED: Short, Maloney, Weirs, Cooper, Orrell
CAUTIONS: Travers – Hartlepool – RED – 86th minute