Doncaster Rovers 1 Manchester United U21s 2: Mason Greenwood’s stoppage time winner condemns Rovers to defeat in Leasing.com Trophy
Once upon a time Manchester United had a reputation for late goals.
And their youngsters rolled back the clock at the Keepmoat Stadium to snatch a last gasp victory in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Mason Greenwood netted the winner deep into stoppage time to send the young Red Devils through to the knockout stage with a perfect record.
Rovers had taken the lead courtesy of a fortuitous effort from Alfie May just after the hour before Ethan Galbraith equalised with a stunning volley.
Doncaster can still reach the last 32 if Rotherham lose at Lincoln next month in the final game in Group H – but it will depend on goal difference.
Rovers completely dominated the opening 20 minutes but despite several decent attempts were unable to make it count on the scoresheet.
Alex Kiwomya was guity of missing the best opportunity, heading into the ground and over after Reece James picked him out superbly at the back post.
United goalkeeper Matej Kovar also had to make a good block to keep out May’s close range effort and a very smart reaction save to prevent Joe Wright scoring with a powerful header as Rovers imposed themselves early on.
Having weathered the early storm United grew in confidence as the first half wore on but were unable to seriously test Ian Lawlor in the home goal.
Nevertheless, Tahith Chong and Greenwood, who have both featured for United at first team level this season, provided a notable threat on the counter.
The visitors began the second period in much more confident fashion and could have gone ahead when Largie Ramazani raced clear but pulled his shot harmlessly wide.
Instead they found themselves behind just after the hour mark. May received the ball just inside the box and fired straight at Kovar who let the ball squirm through his fingers and into the net.
United pressed for an immediate response and it came in spectacular fashion ten minutes later when the ball dropped for Galbraith on the edge of the box and he slammed home a sensational volley.
Kiwomya had another good chance to win it in normal time but slipped at the vital moment.
Just when the game appeared to be heading for penalties, Greenwood did well at the by-line and his shot found its way in possibly with the aid of a deflection.
Rovers: Lawlor, Halliday, Wright, Daniels, James, Whiteman (Sheaf 46), Gomes, May, Kiwomya, Ennis (Sadlier 46), Thomas (Watters 69). Subs: Dieng, Anderson, Longbottom, AJ Greaves.
Man Utd: Kovar, Laird, Mengi, Bernard, Devine, Puigmal (Helm 77), Galbraith, Ramazani (Elanga 86), Mellor, Chong, Greenwood. Subs not used: Woolston, Taylor, Fish, Hoogewerf, McGhee.
Referee: Alan Young
Attendance: 3,845 (545)