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CHARLTON 0 DONCASTER ROVERS 2 (FA Cup 2nd round) - 1st December 2018

CHARLTON 0 DONCASTER 2 (Marshall OG 67, Marquis 77)

Attendance: 3,249 (250 Rovers)

Charlton Phillips; Marshall, Dijksteel, Sarr, Stevenson; Maloney (Sarpong-Wiredu, 79), Lapslie, Reeves (Morgan, 67), Clarke (C); Ajose, Hackett-Fairchild.

Doncaster Lawlor, Mason, Andrew, Butler, Whiteman, Marquis (Taylor, 79), Rowe (C) (Crawford, 62), Anderson, Kane, Blair, May (Wilks, 62).


Hugely disappointing afternoon as Lee Boywer took the opportunity to rest his 1st team and with it the decision to sacrifice cup interest to protect his small and injured squad. In a dour performance, Rovers eased to victory in the 2nd half.

Post Match comments

Bowyer: “We’re never going to win it, so where’s the missed opportunity?. The opportunity that I’ve had is to give Billy Clarke and Ben Reeves minutes. We got to look at Taylor Maloney and whether we could handle it. We’ve got three midfielders out injured and, I’m sorry, if I play the side that I’ve been playing of late against these today, I would be an idiot. Yes, we could get through to the next round, but we could get two more injuries. We’ve had crazy injuries. We had two dislocated shoulders in one game, can I take that risk?

“We could go to Man City in the next round, get beat 8-0 and then what? Lose two more important players for four to six weeks? I’d be an idiot to do that. So, I’m really not that fussed, to be honest. We have to be realistic so I think I have made the right decision.”

“Yes, we are out of the cup, but I’ve got to see if players are ready to step up and play for us. Can I trust them on a Tuesday might in a horrible away day? Can I trust them to come and play? And that’s what I’ve learned from this game.

“We got to have a good look at players so there were some positives out of it. In recent weeks, none of that starting XI starts for us, so they haven’t done badly, they’ve done OK.

“I think we had some good chances. That was the best Mark Marshall has played for us since I’ve been in charge. He took his full-back on, he put good balls into the box and the keeper made an unbelievable save from his header.

“Dillon was outstanding and I’ve learned that I can play Dijksteel at centre-half. I thought he was very good as well. Billy Clarke has got another 90 minutes into him. Ben Reeves has got his first bit of football for a while. Young Toby Stevenson gets another game under his belt and it’s an unbelievable experience because that was their first XI and we’re playing some of our youngsters and players coming back from injury. So, I think we did OK and there are positives to take.”

STATBANK Player Marks

Marshall - 7.30
Sarr - 6.77
Dijkstell - 6.60
Phillips - 6.48
Lapslie - 5.78
Clarke - 5.72
Stevenson - 5.27
Reeves - 5.18
Maloney - 4.98
Hackett-Fairchild - 4.58
Ajose - 3.97

Team Average = 5.69

At the game...

@cabbles : In terms of the game it was pretty obvious early on it would be a struggle. Donny with a full strength team against a majority of our u23 players only really had one outcome. I felt we got a bit more confidence as the game went on in the first half and 0-0 at half time was a decent score to go in at, but it was never going to last. Two really soft goals imo.

The positives for me were Lapslie and Dijksteel getting another 90 mins under their belts against a decent league one team. I think they’re both gonna play a role as the season goes on, so the more game time they get, the better. Marshall grew into the game and that run in the second half and the ball in was superb. He was unlucky with that header too, as it was a great save. I was pleased with Billy Clarke who showed some nice touches, and looked a lot sharper than he had in the 2 previous cup games. If we get him going that’s going to be a real bonus for the 2nd half of the season. He’s a top player imo

As for the youngsters outside of Lapslie and Dijksteel, I felt they all did okay, but they are just too young to be grouped in and thrown together against such a strong opposition and it showed. Hackett Fairchild was probably the most involved I’ve seen him with a couple of nice touches. Stevenson was okay but I think lacked some composure. Felt Maloney was better than he was up at Mansfield but he had a tough ask. All in all, the result was to be expected. No matter how talented some of these youngsters are, the physicality and experience of a fully grown decent league one first XI was always going to win through. Add to that Reeves just coming back from injury and not being able to compete fully for 90 mins anyhow

In terms of the wider issue and Bowyer, I can understand the high levels of frustration and anger. Many of you have made competent arguments for the likes of Lincoln and Millwall and the benefit of a cup run and their promotions. I too would’ve loved a 3rd round tie at home to a Man City or a Liverpool as it’s been a while since we were up in the Prem and it would’ve been good to see what the Valley would look like again with 27,000 in it.

Bowyer obviously has his reasons for doing what’s he’s done. In the short time he’s been our manager I’ve had nothing but respect for him and I think he’s building something and we will go places under him. I don’t necessarily agree with the weakened team and approach for a number of reasons, but, given where we are and what we’ve achieved under him to date, I respect his decision.

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