A battling comeback earns Rovers all three points in a tricky encounter against Chesterfield at Cantley Park.Rovers U18s 2 (Ramsey 22’, Pugh 79’)
Chesterfield U18s 1 (German 20’)
Saturday 20th February 2016, 11:00am
Cantley Park, Doncaster
Youth Alliance League
As spots of rain began to fall in Doncaster there will no doubt have been some nerves amongst the U18 players with 3 of their last 4 matches postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
Nevertheless, the spitting never turned into a downpour and Rovers were given the opportunity to win their first match since the 5th December.
The home side started brightly with two efforts from Joe Pugh giving Chesterfield something to think about in the early stages.
Michael Carberry was causing the visitors some problems down the left but his tame right-footed effort was easily saved by Dylan Parkin in the 11th minute.
However, it was the Spirerites who created the first real chance of the game five minutes later. Pacey striker Curtis Morrison sprinted down the left before cutting the ball back to his strike partner Ricardo German who teed up Derek Daley on the edge of the area only to see his shot saved well by Louis Jones.
Unfortunately, the goalkeeper was unable to prevent Chesterfield finding the net in the 20th minute. Jones sprinted out of his goal only to be beaten to the ball by German who’s effort floated in under the crossbar to put the visitors ahead.
They say you are always most vulnerable after scoring a goal and so it proved for Chesterfield as their lead vanished after just two minutes.
Carberry burst down the left wing, drilled in a fine low cross which was met by the incoming Daniel Ramsey to smash home from close range.
Despite the equaliser, the visitors responded positively and with a strong wind behind them they came close to regaining the lead directly from a corner in the 26th minute.
Nevertheless, Rovers finished the half strongly and should have been ahead just before half-time. Carberry beat Chesterfield’s goalkeeper Parkin to a loose ball in the area to find Matthew Parkin unmarked only for the midfielder to slip and agonisingly miss an empty net from 6 yards out.
Half-time – Rovers U18s 1 Chesterfield U18s 1
It was a tense start to the second half with neither side taking any real chances until the 54th minute when Connor Williamson’s got onto the end of a free kick but his glancing header went wide of the right post.
Both Ramsey and Pugh created further half chances for Rovers but their efforts failed to really test Parkin.
With the visitors struggling to find their first half form and Rovers defending strongly, it felt as though the home side just needed to create a real chance to win the game and in the 79th minute their opportunity came.
A deep corner to the back post found the head of Williamson who delightfully nodded the ball across the face of goal for Pugh to tap home and put Rovers in the lead for the first time in the match.
The visitors tried to push for an equaliser but despite a few free-kicks in good areas, they were unable to create anything substantial and the Rovers defence held out for a hard-fought victory.
Full-time – Rovers U18s 2 Chesterfield U18s 1
ROVERS STARTING XI: Jones, Walker, Carberry, Williamson, Mbuti, Barker, Parkin, Linley, Pugh, Wanless (Henderson 69’), Ramsey (Gains 76’).
ROVERS UNUSED SUBS: Townroe, Prior.
Chesterfield Starting XI: Parkin, Hudson, Randle, Smith, Holmes (Daswell 49’), Marshall, Greaves, Keillor, German, Morrison (Milner 38’), Daley.
Chesterfield Subs not used: Taylor, Lynam, Rowley.