Doncaster Rovers: Joe Wright scores on playing return as U23s kick-off Premier League Cup campaign with win
Joe Wright marked his return to action with a goal as Doncaster Rovers U23s kicked off their Premier League Cup campaign with a win against Portsmouth.
Wright has not featured for Rovers' first team this season after picking up a knee injury in the final pre-season friendly.
But he put his hand up for a recall with a confident performance at the back, crowned with an early goal, as he played for an hour in the 1-0 triumph at the Keepmoat.
It was a comfortable victory for Rovers, who restricted the opposition to very few opportunities and controlled play.
Wright lined up in a back three alongside Luton Town loanee Donervon Daniels while Ian Lawlor played in goal after losing his starting shirt with the senior side at the weekend.
And former Leicester City youngster Harrison Myring started up front on trial.
The first chance fell to the trialist, who fired into the side netting after powering into the box, before Elliott Walker curled a free kick narrowly wide from 25 yards.
Rovers took the lead on 14 minutes when Wright headed home from a Danny Amos delivery.
Wright then cleared off the line as Harvey Rew looked to take advantage of a defensive mix-up which caught out Lawlor in a rare opportunity for the visitors - who had former Rovers boss Sean O'Driscoll among their coaching staff.
Bradley Lethbridge curled narrowly over from the edge of the box after a clearance from Lawlor was cut out.
Myring forced Portsmouth keeper Luke McGee to tip over the bar after Rovers broke from inside their own half.
A corner from Amos almost sneaked in at the far post before he set up Wright for an almost identical chance to his goal, onl this time Portsmouth keeper Luke McGee palmed it away on his line.
The lively AJ Greaves fired wide after a brilliant run into the box while Myring drilled off target after latching onto a Will Longbottom cross.
Longbottom went for goal himself and was unlucky to see a powerful drive deflect narrowly wide.
Amos saw a first time effort from a corner fly narrowly wide as Rovers continued to push for a second.
Alex Kiwomya spurned a glorious opportunity in added time after meeting Max Watters’ excellent cross but scuffing his connection.
Rovers visit Aston Villa in their next group game on November 11.
Rovers: Lawlor; Daniels, Wright (McLean 61), Blaney; Walker, Prior, Greaves, Amos; Longbottom (McGowan 83), Myring (Watters 61), Kiwomya. Subs not used: Jones, Gibbons.