Rovers Youth team, fresh from their exploits in the Gothia Cup, with the addition of the young professionals went to Thorne Colliery of the Central Midlands League and came away with a 2-1 victory.
With a good sized crowd in attendance Thorne started well and had the first chance of the match in the 10th minute when Ebbage headed a cross from their right over the bar from ten yards out.
A couple of minutes later and Finnegan, pushing forward from left back, had his shot blocked to win a corner, which came out of the Thorne defence to Ferguson but he shot wide.
Another good chance to the home team presented itself in the 17th minute when Sheppard took advantage of some indecision in the Rovers defence but he fired well over the bar.
The same player then hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty area but McLaren, in the Rovers goal, saved comfortably. Then in the 22nd minute, a terrific free kick from about twenty five yards by EBBAGE hit the underside of the bar and bounced down into the back of the net.
Immediately following the re-start Ebbage was in on goal again for a long ball into the Rovers area and looked favourite to get it as McLaren came out but the bounce of the ball on the hard surface beat him and McLaren collected.
Then it was the Rovers turn when a ball over the top of the Thorne defence gave Peterson a chance at goal but Chester in the Thorne goal quickly closed him down and blocked his shot.
Rovers were now well in the game and Meade had a go from distance that Chester brilliantly tipped over the bar. However, the Rovers were not to be denied. In the 35th minute Ferguson beat the offside but his shot was blocked and GORDON, who had just come on as a substitute, followed up to put the loose ball into the empty net. From this point on substitutions were made by both sides at regular intervals.
The second half opened with the Rovers on the attack, winning a corner and Spencer Lund having a shot deflected for another corner. However, in the 52nd minute, Thorne came close to getting another goal when Rhodes stabbed the ball goalwards as he was tackled. It rolled past McLaren, who had come out of his goal to meet the attacker, and looked like going into the empty net but Head managed to run back and kick the ball away only inches from the line.
It was then one long procession of changes from both sides but the Rovers generally had command of the game. In the 70th minute good work by Gordon on the left flank gave Burnyeat a sight of goal but he fired over. A couple of minutes later following another corner, the ball came out to Head, who lofted his shot goalwards but it was well caught by the Thorne keeper.
Good work by Terrell on the Rovers right led to another Rovers corner but Thorne were not lying down and in the 75th minute Tiffany put a good shot just wide. In the 82nd minute, with the Rovers well on top a cross from the Rovers right brought a good header from MANDEVILLE into the corner of the net for a second and ultimately the winning goal
Rovers team – Jack McLaren (Johnny Iverson 87); Mitchell Lund (Spencer Lund 46), Evan Finnegan (Ben Askins 28), Josh Meade (Alex Head 40), Scott Brown (Evan Finnegan 56), Jordan Binns (Matthew Davies 84), Lewis Ferguson (Jack Steadman 36 Jack McKay 80), Harry Middleton (Josh Meade 69), Chris Whincop (Callum Terrell 62), Alex Peterson (Ryan Burnyeat 58), Billy Whitehouse (Aaron Gordon 33 Liam Mandeville 80)
Substitutes (all used at various stages of the game) – Callum Tiffany, Brett Thomas, Darren Howe, Connor Shavlock, Dean Cuttale, Thomas Taylor
Thorne Colliery – Rob Chester; Craig Miller, Glen Hookway, Luke Rafferty, Lee Mills, Jonny Lugton, Neil Sheppard, Ross Ebbage, Scott Rhodes, Mark Sneap