Doncaster Rovers: Houghton plays full game as Development Squad suffer opening game defeat to Bradford City

Jordan Houghton in action for the Rovers development squad against Bradford City. Picture: Phil Ryan
Jordan Houghton in action for the Rovers development squad against Bradford City. Picture: Phil Ryan
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Jordan Houghton played the full 90 minutes as Rovers' Development side suffered a 2-1 defeat to Bradford City in their opening game of the season.

The loanee picked up valuable minutes in an energetic and hard-fought game at Cantley Park, while fellow senior players Craig Alcock and Issam Ben Khemis also played the full game.

The lively Ben Khemis equalised with a superb effort from 20 yards but Rovers were ultimately beaten by an Ellis Hudson brace.

Rovers reinstated the Development side for this season after a one-year absence due to the growing group of young professionals at the club.

However, with several of those players out on loan, it was left to numerous apprentices to feature in the clash with the Bantams.

Of those, centre half Danny Amos in particular impressed with his carrying the ball out from the back catching the eye.

Action was largely end to end in the first half with both sides struggling to string moves together as they somewhat cancelled each other out.

Rovers keeper Louis Jones was called on to hold a driven effort from Danny Devine while it took a well-timed tackle from Bradford's Alex Laird to deny Lewis Scattergood a clear shot on goal moments later.

Devine almost capped off a rapid counterattack but his strike from the edge of the box was well held by Jones.

James Morris latched onto an excellent through ball from Houghton but his strike was saved at the near post by George Sykes-Kenworthy.

Bradford's major threat come on the counter with both Reece Powell and Jordan Gibson failing to finish off rapid moves.

But the visitors did break the deadlock five minutes from half time. Hudson powered into the box and drilled a low effort which squeezed under Jones.

It took just eight minutes of the second half for Rovers to draw level. The Bradford defence backed off the advancing Ben Khemis, giving him plenty of room to curl a wonderful effort home.

From there, Rovers had a strong spell and swarmed forward regularly. Keegan Townrow released substitute Myron Gibbons with a long raking pass but his shot drifted just wide.

And Ben Khemis drew a decent save from Sykes-Kenworthy with a free kick from 25 yards.

But with eight minutes left on the clock, Bradford went back in front. Jordan Gibson was given time to work his way into the box and drill a low shot across goal which Jones parried but straight into the path of Hudson who slotted in.

Bradford looked the more likely to get another rather than Rovers equalising, with substitute Christian Farrah and Gibson drawing fine saves from Jones.

Rovers: Jones; Alcock, Townrow, Amos, Horton (Prior 32); Houghton, James (Foulkes 90), Ben Khemis, Fletcher (Greaves 62); Morris, Scattergood (Gibbons 57). Sub not used: Ogley.

Bradford: Sykes-Kenworthy; Hendrie, Laird (Mullett 69), Barr, Hanson; Peters; Hudson, Gunner, Devine, Gibson; Powell (Farrar 80). Sub not used: Wright.