Doncaster Rovers 2 Hull City 0 - May continues brilliant run to help book round three slot
Man of the moment Alfie May had spoken brilliantly in the build-up about his previous life as non-league striker, the early mornings and his shifts as a tradesman.
And it was the livewire 24-year-old who helped craft Doncaster Rovers a place in the third round of the Caraboa Cup at the expense of an inexperienced Hull City outfit.
May scored for the fourth successive game, made the other goal for Tommy Rowe and was a threat all night running in behind as Rovers deservedly tamed the Tigers thanks to a dominant second half display.
He was playing for Hythe Town in level eight of the pyramid last season.
Now May will be hoping he has inspired Rovers to a glamour tie against one of the Premier League’s big boys when the draw is made in the early hours of Thursday morning.
He took his goal superbly moments after the re-start and Doncaster, who had also enjoyed the better of the first half chances, moved through the gears to record their first home win of the season.
Darren Ferguson made five changes from the side that drew with Blackpool, resting James Coppinger altogether and benching Ian Lawlor, Niall Mason, Andy Butler and Liam Mandeville.
Issam Ben Khemis made his first Rovers start, and there were opportunities for Marko Marosi, Craig Alcock, Rodney Kongolo and May.
That was nothing compared to injury-hit Hull though as Leonid Slutsky made 11 changes and handed six youngsters their senior debuts, clearly with both eyes fixed firmly on a Friday night clash with Bolton in the Championship.
Unsurprisingly the youthful visitors showed plenty of enthusiasm early on and Dan Batty drilled one wide from distance before James Weir tested Marosi from the edge of the box.
Rovers, operating with three at the back, looked most threatening early on when they looked to play May in over the top but their new-look midfield trio of Ben Whiteman, Kongolo and Ben Khemis initially struggled to get a foothold on the game.
They grew into the contest and it was the home side who crafted the clearest opportunities before the break.
The ever-lively May latched onto a short back pass but was denied by Tigers goalkeeper Will Mannion.
Robbie McKenzie then went within inches of directing a Matty Blair cross into his own net.
And just before the break John Marquis, who had been quiet up to that point, went even closer when his toe-poked effort from the edge of the area smacked off the post.
Rovers’ lively start to the second period suggested they might have received something of a rocket from Ferguson.
And on 48 minutes they went ahead when Ben Khemis teed up May inside the box and the in-form striker duly converted with a smart left-foot finish.
Moments later May could have doubled the lead but Marquis over-hit his pass.
Rovers did not have long to wait for a second though, as May’s square ball found Rowe whose sweet strike from the left edge of the box found the bottom corner with the help of a slight deflection.
By the hour mark the home side were in total control and Whiteman came within inches of extending the lead when his free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Mannion.
Shortly after May hit the post and substitute Andy Williams went close as Rovers went for the kill.
To their credit, Hull’s youngsters fought their way back into the game and Greg Luer wasted a gilt-edged chance on 77 minutes to set up a tense finale - but Rovers were deserved winners in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Rovers: Marosi, Alcock, Wight, Andrew, Blair, Ben Khemis, Whiteman, Rowe (Garratt 74), Kongolo (Mason 83), Marquis (Williams 60), May. Subs not used: Lawlor, Beestin, Butler, Mandeville.
Hull City: Mannion, Weir, Batty, Luer, Olley, Clackstone, Lenihan, Annan, Hamilton (Hinchcliffe 76), Fleming (Barkworth 69), McKenzie. Subs not used: Andrew, Ritson, Edwards, Yates, Dyson.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)