Errors cost depleted Doncaster Rovers U18s according to boss Gary McSheffrey
Patched-up Doncaster Rovers U18s are four games without a win after being defeated 3-1 by a clinical Bradford City last Friday.
Manager Gary McSheffrey could only name one substitute, Charlie Petch, with mounting injuries to scholars, while the U16 players who would have featured in the game were attending school that morning.
McSheffrey believes all of Bradford’s goals could have been avoided.
“We were dominant, although performing ugly at times, and their goals just came from three of our errors,” he said.
“When it came to tackling, we were quite passive. However, we kept going at 3-0 down and managed to get back into the game form a good finish by Will [Hollings].
“Bradford didn’t have to earn the goals which is frustrating. In the second-half we rolled our sleeves up, but we still didn’t test them quite enough.”
It was a game of two halves with Bradford edging the game in the first-half and racing into a two goal lead.
The young Bantams scored their first goal after cutting Rovers open from a throw-in with the second going directly in Luke Chadwick’s goal from a corner.
McSheffrey’s side had opportunities to score, with Bobby Faulkner forcing a save from a corner while Jack Goodman’s shot from distance was blocked.
In the second-half Rovers were the better side with Faulkner, Jack Raper and captain Dan Wilds all having chances and making the opposition goalkeeper work hard. Despite these chances Bradford made it 3-0 against the run of play.
This did not deter Rovers’ youngster who continued to press. Eventually, they opened their account on the 80th minute through Will Hollings after a brilliant one-two between him and Goodman finished with an unstoppable goal.
With five minutes left of the game, Goodman won Rovers a penalty. He would take the spot-kick, but Bradford’s goalkeeper guessed the right direction and kept the score at 3-1.
The U18s will host Oldham on October 9 in their final group stage game of the EFL Youth Cup. Rovers are already out of the competition having lost to Bolton and Mansfield.