ROVERS’ highly-rated youth team mirrored their senior colleagues with a no-thrills win as they edged past Morecambe in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
Paul Stancliffe’s youngsters struggled for fluency on their big night at the Keepmoat Stadium but they did just enough to set up a second round tie at home to non-league side Gateshead.
Josh Meade scored the only goal of the first round tie on ten minutes after the hosts carved open the Shrimpers defence and midfielder Meade kept his cool to confidently slot home.
Rovers struggled to build on Meade’s strike in front of a crowd of 208, but credit must also be given to a spirited Morecambe side who made life difficult for Doncaster.
The visitors went closest to levelling in the closing stages when Lewis Finney’s goal-bound effort was cleared off the line.
Winger Billy Whitehouse went closest for Rovers when he beat two defenders but his close range shot was deflected wide.
Skipper Harry Middleton impressed in the middle of park for Rovers, displaying a coolness under pressure and appearing to have more time on the ball than those around him.
He and Meade dsiplayed a good understanding in the centre of midfield, with Middleton regularly holding his position as the more attack-minded Meade attempted to get forward.
Irish winger Evan Finnegan also showed a willingness to take on his full back, while goalkeeper Aaron Busby produced a faultless display between the sticks.
Strike pair Ryan Burnyeat and Alex Peterson also took after their senior colleagues with a tireless display up front.
Doncaster were disciplined and very well organised in defence, but they will be hoping to show a bit more of the attacking flair that has took them to the top of the North East Alliance when they host Gateshead later this month.
Rovers: Aaron Busby; Mitchell Lund, Jordan Binns, Scott Brown, Jacob Dawson; Billy Whitehouse, Joshua Meade, Harry Middleton, Evan Finnegan; Alex Peterson, Ryan Burnyeat.