A DREAM debut for Jordan Ball saw him book Rovers’ place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy quarter final with his first touch in senior football.
The 19-year-old – recalled from his loan with Northern League Division One side Belper earlier this week – came off the bench with seven minutes to go and immediately headed home a David Cotterill corner to dump out holders Chesterfield.
Neither side seemed in any rush to win the tie with the visitors more than happy to let Rovers dominate possession for long periods.
Dean Saunders’ side played some nice football with short passes out from the back four through midfield without any real urgency.
The deep lying defence of Chesterfield made it difficult for Rovers to exploit space and restricted them to largely long range efforts.
Spireites keeper Richard O’Donnell was drawn into a number of saves – particularly by Cotterill and Martin Woods from distance – but was rarely taken out of his comfort zone.
The best chance of the first half rather caught Robbie Blake off guard as the ball cannoned off his head over the bar from two yards.
The game opened up a little after the break but Rovers continued to dominate possession.
Woods produced the best of the night’s shots from distance to draw a fine save from O’Donnell but the game seemed all set for penalties.
Ball’s introduction changed all that as he replaced Robbie Blake.
The Chesterfield defence did not have the chance to check who was supposed to be marking the youngster as he darted into the area and stooped low to meet Cotterill’s centre and send the ball into the far corner.
Doncaster: G Woods, Keegan, Jones, Spurr, Husband, Cotterill, Syers, Ma Woods, Bennett, Blake (Ball, 83), Paynter (Brown, 46).
Subs: Sullivan, Mi Woods, Harper.
Chesterfield: O’Donnell, Forbes, Trotman, Clay (Randal, 75), Togwell, Westcarr, Darikwa, Ridehalgh, Atkinson, Talbot, Evans (Lester, 75).
Subs: Wilson, Boden, Hazel.
Ref: James Adcock.