FORMER Tadcaster Albion ace Alfie Beestin captained a strong Doncaster Rovers team to a narrow 2-0 win on his return to the i2i stadium.

Experienced former Birmingham City winger Gary McSheffrey was on target for the newly-promoted League One visitors, with Liam Mandeville also converting a penalty after the scores had been level at the break.

Rovers had prepared for the game with a 9-0 victory over Armthorpe Welfare and there were plenty of positives for the hosts, who were without Joel Dixon, Aaron Hardy and Pete Davidson, but welcomed defenders Andy Milne and Aiden Savory back into the squad.

Last season’s 26-goal top scorer John Marquis had the first chance of the match for Doncaster, pulling off his man just left of the penalty spot, before side-footing firmly on target, only for Michael Ingham to get down well and deny the former Millwall forward twice.

Albion’s captain Milne, meanwhile, had to be in the right place at the right time on numerous occasions to hook clear with the purposeful Marquis lurking.

Danny Anderson also fired over from distance for Darren Ferguson’s men and Andy Williams glanced a header narrowly wide.

The Brewers did, however, come close to opening the scoring on the stroke of half-time when Conor Sellars curled a free-kick in from the right that the towering figure of Tom Corner guided agonisingly wide of Ian Lawlor’s goal.

Ferguson made ten changes at the break, with former York City favourite Matty Blair exiting the action, while Taddy made just the one substitution with Savory on for his debut in place of Josh Barrett.

Half-time replacement Mandeville had a golden opportunity to net three minutes into the restart after being picked out by McSheffrey, but was denied by Ingham.

Seconds later, Josh Greening did superbly well to bring the ball out of the sky before curling a shot, which looked destined for the top corner, only for Marko Marosi to fly to his right and get the slightest of touches to push the shot wide.

McSheffrey broke the deadlock, though, when he drifted untracked to the back post and fired past Ingham with a left-footed volley.

Former Rovers keeper Ingham went on to brilliantly keep a Tommy Rowe attempt out but, after Josh Grant gave away a penalty, Mandeville made no mistake from the spot.

Ingham was called into action again by Rowe as his piledriver stung the hands of the ex-Northern Ireland international.

The home side’s best chance of a consolation came in the final minute when substitute Piteu Crouz picked the ball up 40 yards out, turned on the turbo and burst beyond three red shirts before striking firmly down the middle only to be terrifically denied by Marosi.

Tadcaster: Ingham, Howarth, Grant, Barrett, Milne, Akeroyd, Ellam, Sellars, Greening, Corner, Frost. Subs used: Savory, Mycoe, Crouz, Chigumira, Ibrahimi, Stokes, Sheppeard, Marshall, Rose. Unused: Lock.

Doncaster (first-half): Lawlor, Blair, Trialist, Butler, Anderson, Mason, Beestin, Trialist, Coppinger, Marquis, Williams

Second-half: Marosi, Walker, Middleton, Wright, Garratt, Whiteman, Trialist, Rowe, McSheffrey, Mandeville, May

Attendance: 704