Doncaster Rovers 3 Lincoln City 1: Rovers roar back to begin Leasing.com Trophy campaign with a win
Kazaiah Sterling put his hand up to solve Rovers’ striking dilemma as they kicked off their Leasing.com Trophy campaign with a comfortable win over Lincoln City.
Tottenham loanee Sterling put a strong Rovers side ahead with his first goal for the club after they had fought back from behind with John Akinde firing Lincoln ahead against the run of play.
Cameron John equalised for Rovers in the second half after Akinde had missed from the spot while Alfie May rounded off the scoring with his first goal of the season.
Though the hunt for an experienced striker continues in the free agent market for Rovers, a second consecutive three goal haul for the side will certainly have eased a few of the worries.
It was nothing more than Rovers deserved as they delivered an exciting and energetic performance throughout the 90 minutes.
Despite having a blank weekend due to the expulsion of scheduled opponents Bury, Darren Moore’s side showed no signs of ring rust.
The inadvertent break saw Moore name a stronger side than he perhaps would have in the competition, making just two changes to the team that started the win over Lincoln in the league ten days prior.
And they pushed hard from the start, demonstrating quick, incisive passing to move up the pitch quickly and in good number.
It saw them push bodies into the box and look a threat throughout. They did however find themselves halted by a resolute Lincoln defence, meaning clear cut chances were hard to come by.
And yet again they found themselves behind, with Akinde demonstrating the ruthlessness in front of goal Rovers are still hunting for.
Receiving a pass inside the box, he touched past the over-committed John and rifled past Seny Dieng with two minutes to go until half time.
Rovers were undeterred by the setback and resumed their onslaught in the second half.
The breakthrough came ten minutes in when Ben Sheaf’s flick on from a corner was parried by Lincoln keeper Grant Smith but fell to John to poke home from close range.
Lincoln looked to have been gifted a way back in front when John clumsily bundled over Akinde in the box. The powerful striker stuttered his run up for the penalty and looked to place the ball in the bottom corner but Dieng called his bluff and saved easily.
Ben Whiteman stung Smith’s hands with a volley soon after before Rovers took the lead on 69 minutes.
May powered to the byline and stabbed in a cross which Sterling headed into the far corner.
Lincoln looked beaten at this point and Rovers pushed on, sealing the game ten minutes later when May smashed in first time after a corner was cleared out to him on the edge of the area.