Brian Barry-Murphy’s youngsters made a fine start at the Keepmoat Stadium, taking an eighth minute lead through skipper Sam Edozie.
In a battling and brave display, City also struck the woodwork twice in the second half through Luke Bolton and Tai Sodje.
But a brace either side of half time from Joe Dodoo proved enough to hand the League One side the spoils and ensure the battle to reach the last 32 in Group E will go down to the wire.
With several of Barry-Murphy’s side afforded an opportunity in City’s first team for our Carabao Cup tie against Wycombe Wanderers, it saw a number of promising Under-18s players drafted into our squad.
And the City youngsters made the perfect start, opening the scoring in terrific fashion on eight minutes.
Winger Oscar Bobb was the architect, harrying Rovers into a mistake and then threading an inviting ball into the path of the onrushing Sam Edozie.
Captain for the evening, Edozie needed no second invitation to fire the ball home from eight yards past the onrushing Rovers keeper Louis Jones.
Rovers almost responded in kind on 11 minutes, Aidan Barlow dinking in a neat lob which was just too high before Jordy Hiwula then let fly from 20 yards with a powerful drive that was narrowly wide.
And it proved third time lucky for Doncaster on 15 minutes when Joe Dodoo cut inside from the right edge of the box and drilled home a low shot to level affairs.
With their tails up, Rovers sought to find an advantage with Aidan Barlow forcing a smart save from Cieran Slicker and Tago Cukur also going close.
City keeper Slicker then had to be alert to race out of his box and clear as Barlow hared in on a loose ball and Doncaster danger man Barlow was a fraction wide on 40 minutes after a neat pass by Bostock into the heart of the City box.
With half-time looming, Edozie caused more panic in the Rovers defence as City broke at speed, the winger twisting and turning in the area only for Jones to smother his shot.
City almost drew first blood three minutes into the second half, a fine build-up ending with substitute Tai Sodje’s low drive testing the Rovers keeper.
Bostock then curled a dipping 20-yard free kick inches wide as both sides sought to up the ante.
And it was Rovers who struck again on 58 minutes, Dodoo claiming his and Doncaster’s second of the evening as his strike from the edge of the box found its way past Slicker.
City sought to summon up a quick response and Luke Bolton was desperately unlucky to see his 70th minute strike clip the top of the bar.
Slicker then earned his spurs, producing a stunning save to deny Rovers sub Rodrigo Vilca.
City launched a brave late salvo with Sodje inches wide from a Larios cross before a deflected Bobb drive was tipped over the bar.
Sodje then saw his low show cannon back off the post and deep into injury time sub Adedire Mebude’s drive into the box saw a shot go agonisingly wide.
How we lined up
Cieran Slicker was in goal shielded by a back four of Luke Bolton, Isaac Smith, Jadel Katongo and Juan Larios. Shea Charles was the holding midfielder with Micah Hamilton and Darko Gyabi also in the engine room. Skipper Sam Edozie, Liam Delap and Oscar Bobb formed the attacking trident.
What it means
Qualification for the round of 32 will all boil down to the final group game with City, Doncaster and Rotherham all having three points, Scunthorpe yet to register but the Rotherham and the Iron only having played one game.
Our Elite Development Squad return to Premier League 2 action on Saturday when we play host to Arsenal Under-23s.
Having made a fine start to the season, Brian Barry-Murphy’s side – who currently top the table – will be seeking to maintain our unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Kick-off at the Academy Stadium is 3pm.
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