Pilgrims 0-4 Doncaster Rovers
Pontins Holiday League Cup
by Craig Singleton
Rampant Doncaster Rovers powered to a decisive 4-0 victory over Boston United Reserves in the first Pontins Holidays League Cup fixture of the season. The Rovers' second string strolled to a comprehensive victory, leaving Boston needing good results in their final two group fixtures against Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages. Doncaster fielded a strong line-up, with the likes of Leo Fortune-West, Paul Barnes, Jamie Paterson, John McGrath, Dave Morley, Chris Beech and ex-Pilgrim Steve Burton all starting the match. Boston rarely threatened, although Stuart Douglas missed a great chance in only the eighth minute, poking wide of an open goal after successfully challenging Barry Richardson for the ball. From then on, Boston were devoid of any purposeful attacking ideas and were forced to defend for long periods.
Fortune-West, Barnes and Burton all had chances denied in a first half that saw Boston lose the services of Matt Hocking. The Pilgrims' defender sustained a nasty facial injury after a clash with Fortune-West, although the Doncaster striker escaped any action from referee Turner. And it was Fortune-West who put Rovers in front in the 47th minute, heading home at the back post following Martin Drury's left-wing centre. Eight minutes later, midfield man Chris Dickman lashed home a 25-yarder to double the lead, after John McGrath had seen an effort clip the post from an acute angle. Fortune-West made it 3-0 in the 73rd minute, rising to nod home Paterson's centre, before Burton made if four when he drilled past an exposed Steve Croudson ten minutes later, as Boston fell apart at the back. Boston's best chances saw Daniel Bent's lob tipped over by Richardson, before the Rovers custodian did well to parry Ryan Clarke's low effort wide in the last minute.
United team: Croudson, Sutch, Potter, Clarke, Chapman, Hocking (Williams 30), Liburd (Freeman 57), Rusk, Bent (King 70), Douglas, Angel.