Report: York City 2 Doncaster Rovers 0 - Redfearn and Clark watch JPT defeat

Dany N'Guessan knocks the ball down. Photo: Howard Roe.
Dany N'Guessan knocks the ball down. Photo: Howard Roe.

One way or another, the trip to York City marked the end of an era for Doncaster Rovers and Rob Jones.

And that was not just the end of their journey in this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

By the time they resume playing on Saturday week against Bradford City, Rovers will have a new boss.

Whether Jones will now graduate from interim to permanent manager remains under question.

But his chances will have been done no good at all by the result and performance in defeat to York City on a rain-drenched Tuesday night. If it was to be his end, it was a miserable one.

Watched on by potential candidates Neil Redfearn and Lee Clark - both furiously making notes in the directors’ box - Rovers found themselves all too easily undone by their League Two hosts.

Sheffield-born former Wednesday trainee Vadaine Oliver scored twice to send the Minstermen into the third round. And for both goals, Rovers were sliced through with relative ease.

The worrying trend of Rovers being overrun in midfield continued, particularly in the first half.

But for a bright opening, it was a struggle for the visitors to test York keeper Scott Flinders.

And it was not until Oliver’s second goal went in on 50 minutes, that Rovers took command of the ball - though that was largely due to York being more than happy to sit on their lead.

Keen to maintain the gradually-building momentum, Jones made only two changes to the side that beat Barnsley at the weekend. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair replaced Luke McCullough who has joined up with the Northern Ireland squad while Harry Middleton came in for derby goal hero Richard Chaplow.

The system remained however. A 4-4-2 diamond with the lively Keshi Anderson at the tip.

Rovers started the brighter, for the first few minutes at least. Richie Wellens lofted a lovely ball over the top, Anderson flicked on and Dany N’Guessan smashed a shot which Flinders parried away well.

Moments later, James Coppinger forced a similar stop from the keeper with a low drive from ten yards.

But any hopes of a strong start were quashed in the fifth minute as the hosts took the lead.

James Horsfield was caught out of position on the right, allowing Anthony Straker all the time in the world to send in a teasing cross. Oliver surged away from his marker to flick a superb header beyond Thorsten Stuckmann and into the bottom corner.

Confidence oozed out of York after the goal. Their tails up, they began to spray around passes and look for through balls out wide, attacking with real pace and purpose.

Rovers in contrast were sluggish, and left chasing shadows.

Harry Middleton hooked a tame shot just wide from the edge of the box but chances for Rovers were few and far between.

Oliver could have added to his tally but headed over the bar with the visiting defence caught flat-footed from a free kick.

York exploited the gap between Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Cedric Evina all too regularly. But the hosts also struggled to test the opposition keeper.

Anderson tried to make something for himself and he weaved through the York defence to the edge of the box, only to hook wide from just inside the area.

Rovers settled as the half wore on and began to enjoy greater possession without producing anything of real note in the final third.

Before they could get any hold on proceedings after the break, they found themselves two goals down.

Oliver pounced on confusion among the Rovers defence to chase down Taylor-Sinclair, flick the ball past Stuckmann and finish well into an empty net under pressure from retreating defenders.

It was a hammerblow Rovers struggled to recover from while York were more than happy to sit on their lead.

For long periods, they had the hosts penned in within 30 yards of the goal. But the sheer number of bodies made York incredibly difficult to break down.

Driving rain made the pitch a bog and players tired as a result. Jones, looking for inspiration, threw on Harry Forrester and Liam Mandeville.

Forrester forced a fine save from Flinders with a drive from distance and drilled just wide after forcing his way into a good position inside the box. Mandeville drew the best from Flinders after turning and firing on the edge of the box.

But there was no way through for Rovers in both the game and the competition.

It was not the manner in which to end an era. But it may indeed signal the start of someone else’s.

York City: Flinders, Lowe, McCombe, Ilesanmi, McCoy, Berrett, Penn, Collins, Straker, Coulson (Carson 68), Oliver (Thompson 80). Subs not used: Winfield, Ingham, Sinclair.

Doncaster Rovers: Stuckmann, Horsfield, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Evina, Coppinger, Wellens, Anderson (Forrester 73), Middleton, N’Guessan, Williams (Mandeville 64). Subs not used: Marosi, Keegan, P McKay.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 1,627 (571 away)