Armthorpe Welfare 0 Doncaster Rovers 9: Marquis makes his point in routine win

John Marquis led the line with authority for Rovers at Armthorpe
John Marquis led the line with authority for Rovers at Armthorpe

John Marquis wore the captain’s armband and found the net as Doncaster Rovers showed no mercy against Armthorpe Welfare.

The 25-year-old striker, who recently rejected the offer of a new contract, cut a determined figure and scored with a delightful chip in a one-sided contest at Church Street.

ROVERS STAR MAN: James Coppinger

ROVERS STAR MAN: James Coppinger

He looked eager to make a point, which he did, and also encouraged his teammates not to go easy on their Northern Counties East League Division One opposition, which they did not.

Liam Mandeville bagged a second half hat trick after James Coppinger lit up the first period with a classy brace.

Loanee midfielder Ben Whiteman also caught the eye and found the net, while fellow new boy Danny Andrew offered some neat delivery from the left.

But not everything went to plan as centre back Mathieu Baudry was withdrawn moments before kick off, seemingly pointing to the Achilles he had an operation on at the end of last season.

Ben Whiteman

Ben Whiteman

Rovers began the game at a good tempo and predictably dominated possession.

Armthorpe, operating with five at the back, offered decent resistance before collapsing once the deadlock was broken on the half hour, conceding four times in the space of five minutes.

Coppinger, who seems to get younger with every passing season, was the main creative spark, playing at the tip of the midfield diamond, while Alfie Beestin offered a threat cutting in from the right on his left.

Andy Williams also gave a glimpse of the sharpness that persuaded boss Darren Ferguson to take him off the transfer list, trying his luck twice before spurning the best opportunity of the game after being cleverly found by Coppinger.

James Coppinger

James Coppinger

An inevitable breakthrough came when Tommy Rowe nodded in from close range after Andy Butler had headed back across the face of goal.

The goal relaxed Rovers and appeared to have completely the opposite effect on the hosts.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 when a cross from the left from Garratt fell kindly for Coppinger who finished with aplomb.

Coppinger then coolly converted a cross from Williams to make it three, and a minute later Williams himself got on the scoresheet when he nodded in a delivery from young right back Tyler Walker, who acquitted himself well.

Nine changes came at the interval but the shape of the side - a 4-4-2 midfield diamond - remained the same. Marquis was notably handed the captain’s armband and there were opportunities for transfer-listed midfielder Harry Middleton and free agent Gary McSheffrey.

Armthorpe also introduced some fresh legs but the pattern of the game remained the same as Rovers continued to boss territory and possession.

There was a let off for Ian Lawlor when his mis-kick presented Craig Morley with a shooting chance from distance but the striker sliced his effort.

At the other end there was no such casualness from Whiteman who introduced himself to the Rovers faithful in the best possible manner with a superb curling effort to make it 5-0 on 57 minutes.

Armthorpe were once again most vulnerable after they had just conceded as it took just three more minutes for number six to arrive when Marquis saw his close range shot blocked by Adam Stevens but Mandeville was on hand to prod home the rebound.

Marquis then got his name on the scoresheet with a delicate chip before Mandeville drilled home number eight.

Mandeville later completed his hat trick with a tap-in from close range after another chip from Marquis came back off the post.

Armthorpe: Bramley (Stevens 46), Harty (Taylor 46), Gowen (Emery 61), Ramsay, Gibbons, Garner, Collier (Johnston 46), Dodd (Bowkett 46), Morley (Preston 61), Radford (Walker 61), O’Neill (Brook 46).

ROVERS FIRST HALF: Marosi, Walker, Wright, Butler, Garratt, Mason, Coppinger, Beestin, Rowe, May, Williams.

ROVERS SECOND HALF: Lawlor, Blair, Wright, Garratt, Andrew, Middleton, Longbottom, Whiteman, McSheffrey, Marquis, Mandeville.

Referee: Chris Ward