Rossington Main 0 Doncaster Rovers 4

Doncaster's Paul Green against Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster's Paul Green against Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe

Paul Green set tongues wagging as he starred for Doncaster Rovers in a comfortable friendly win at Rossington Main.

The former Rovers star - a free agent following his release by Rotherham United - pulled the strings in midfield before Darren Ferguson made wholesale changes at half time.

Green’s last appearance for Doncaster came at Wembley in the 2008 League One play-off final win over Leeds United.

In the more humbling surroundings of Oxford Street, the 33-year-old showed he’s lost little of his quality on the ball and midfield verve as he got Rovers fans talking about the possibility of him returning.

The official line from the club is that Green is just training with Doncaster to keep himself ticking over but, on this evidence, those of a Rovers persuasion will be hoping there is more to it than meets the eye.

Green and his former Rovers teammate James Coppinger rolled back the years during a first half in which the hosts, of Division One of the Northern Counties East League, rarely got out of their own half.

Doncaster's Will Longbottom celebrates his goal with Paul Green against Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster's Will Longbottom celebrates his goal with Paul Green against Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe

Busy Main goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite had done well to block an effort from new signing John Marquis before the visitors went ahead on 15 minutes. Rovers were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and it was Coppinger who curled home a sublime effort.

Coppinger was the architect of another excellent goal seven minutes later when his corner from the right was volleyed home from the edge of the area by Will Longbottom, who shone at the tip of Rovers’ midfield diamond.

Darren Ferguson did without the services of Joe Wright, Mathieu Baudry, Paul Keegan, Gary McSheffrey and Marko Marosi.

But that did not stop the Scot from making 10 changes at the break, affording run outs to a few more youth teamers.

The pattern of the game remained the same, though, as Rovers continued to dictate possession.

Just two minutes after the re-start Rovers extended their lead when Tommy Rowe latched onto a long ball and smashed home a lovely finish.

In an early clue as to Ferguson’s tactical thinking, Doncaster again kept to a midfield diamond formation with Harry Middleton replacing Green at the base. New recruit Matty Blair, predominantly right-footed, played on the left side of the midfield quartet.

Blair was denied by a smart save from substitute goalkeeper Simon Dye.

Andy Williams and Joe Pugh also went close before, in the closing stages, Williams capitalised on some slack defending to slot home the fourth.

All-in-all Rovers could be satisfied with their night’s work but despite dominating possession and scoring three excellent goals everyone left talking about one man...Paul Green.

Rossington Main: Musselwhite, Dorgan, Billam, Sanderson, Cook, Morris, Hatton, Johnson, Churchill, Pendleton, Doyle. Subs: Chipamaunga, Dye, Wiffen, Lodge, Radu, Harte, Wright, Grren, Woodhall.

Rovers first half: Etheridge, Lund, Barker, Alcock, Garratt, Green, Coppinger, Calder, Longbottom, Mandeville, Marquis.

Rovers second half: Etheridge, Walker, Butler, Fielding, Evina, Middleton, Blair, James, Rowe, Pugh, Williams.

Attendance: 1425

Referee: Darren England