Youthful Doncaster Rovers U18s suffer heavy defeat to Bolton Wanderers in EFL Youth Cup

Doncaster Rovers’ U18s started their EFL Youth Cup campaign with a heavy defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
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The youth team still have Mansfield away (September 25) and Oldham at home (October 9) to face in the group, but the start of their campaign got off to a difficult start.

U18s boss Gary McSheffrey made six changes to his squad that lost to Grimsby Town the previous weekend, calling up a U16 players Justin Bennett and Will Flint with only four second year scholars starting.

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On the changes to his squad, McSheffrey said: “It is all about learning and progressing so hopefully the youngsters getting this exposure will help them for the future and will benefit us going forward.

Rovers U16s youngster Justin Bennett made his debut for the U18s in the defeat to BoltonRovers U16s youngster Justin Bennett made his debut for the U18s in the defeat to Bolton
Rovers U16s youngster Justin Bennett made his debut for the U18s in the defeat to Bolton

“The lads who train the best in the week regardless of age will always play. It’s about finding the right individuals to get into the first-team.”

The changes seemed to have had a positive impact on the start of the game for Rovers. The return of striker Ethan Harrison was welcomed as most of the chances came through him. During the game, he had hit the post and forced Bolton’s goalkeeper into two good saves.

Despite the positive start, The Trotters stormed into a 3-0 lead before half-time with individual errors costing the young team from set-pieces before Charlie Petch gave away a penalty which their left-back capitalised on to give the visitors a comfortable lead at the break.

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Straight after half-time Bolton got their fourth as their number ten headed past Luke Chadwick and from that point the former Category Two Academy side took control, giving Rovers little exposure on the ball.

Elsewhere in the group, Oldham and Mansfield drew 1-1 making Bolton the early group leaders.

“For the first 25-minutes, we were comfortably the better team," McSheffrey added.

“Our front two were a major threat and it was the most fluent we have been in possession. There were lots of positives.

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“The only disappointing thing is when we concede we did not regroup how we would have hoped.”

Rovers’ U18s return to league action on August 28 with a visit to Scunthorpe United U18s.


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