Doncaster finished their National League North Conference campaign with a 3-2 win away at Durham University.
This leaves the Town Fields men in third place in the final standings, which can only be regarded as a successful season for the club on its return to the National League.
Having slipped to fourth following the previous week’s 3-1 home defeat to bottom team Leek, coach Alan Stoves demanded an improved performance from his team, as there was a possibility of a top three finish which would conclude an encouraging campaign.
However, game plans were put into confusion as the Doncaster keeper, Ashley Watson, failed to arrive due to transport issues and defender Luke Staveley was pressed into the role of emergency keeper.
Fortunately, this did not seem to affect the team as Doncaster dominated the early stages, going ahead through a Joe Morrison penalty corner. In fact the students rarely threatened and Morrison finished after good team play to make it 2-0. The Students scored following a long pass that found Ed Peel at the back-post but, Morrison scored from another penalty corner to complete his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time and turn round 3-1 up.
The second half saw more urgency form the students and Staveley was called into action on a number of occasions whilst at the other end Doncaster failed to put away several good chances.
The next goal was critical, and it was the Students who scored with 5 minutes left, to set up a frantic finish which saw three Doncaster players sin-binned in the last minute for various offences. And, at the final whistle Tom Brickman cleared a Durham penalty corner off the Doncaster goal line.
Staveley rightly earned the plaudits on the day for stepping in between the posts but, Joe Morrison’s hat-trick meant he’s ended with 21 league goals and joint second top scorer in the League. Doncaster hope to build on this encouraging squad performance where everyone has contributed through the season.
Local youngsters Tom Cuffling, Callum Hartley and Ben West have all had the opportunity to step up to this higher level during the season and with continued development will be able to feature regularly in the coming seasons.