Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson salutes academy starlets after Trophy win

Niall Mason, left, and Issam Ben Kemis try to dispossess Sunderland's Ethan Robson. Picture: Frank Reid
Niall Mason, left, and Issam Ben Kemis try to dispossess Sunderland's Ethan Robson. Picture: Frank Reid
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Darren Ferguson was delighted with his Doncaster Rovers young guns after they booked their place in the knockout round of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 1-0 win over Sunderland Under-21s tonight.

Issam Ben Khemis scored the only goal of the game to earn a much-changed - and very young - Rovers outfit a deserved victory against the Black Cats.

The night saw Academy prospects Jacob Fletcher, Tyler Walker, Morgan James, James Morris and Cody Prior all make their Rovers debuts - and earn the praise of Ferguson.

“I really enjoyed it, I’m really pleased,” said Ferguson.

“A win’s a win, it doesn’t matter in what tournament, or what team’s picked.

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“We had a young team out there - the average age was 19 for the last half an hour - and I was delighted with them.

“They showed really good energy, played some really good football, scored a really good goal, terrible celebration!

“They changed their shape in the second half but we coped with it really well.

“I was delighted with them. It was a really good performance. It was good to get a clean sheet and we probably could’ve had one or two more goals.”

Andy Williams came off with a thigh injury and is likely to miss this weekend’s home clash with Southend United.

“Williams felt his thigh at half time, that was probably the biggest disappointment of the night,” said Ferguson.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what he’s like the morning.”