Rovers’ development boss John Schofield was pleased with his young side on Tuesday afternoon despite going down 2-1 to Bradford City at Cantley Park.
Issam Ben Khemis’ strike was not enough for the home side, as two goals against the run of play saw the visiting Bantams leave with all three points in the first Central League North fixture of the season.
“The young lads have had the chance to play at the next level and that’s what it’s all about, we’ve had chances and we want to win but the performance overall at times was pleasing and it is another pathway to develop these players,” Schofield said.
“We’ve got loads out of the game, it’s a big step to go from youth level into playing in the first team on a Saturday. They’ll learn how to play against bigger, more physical players, but the attitude of these players is brilliant and this is a fantastic place to be.”
Ellis Hudson fired Bradford ahead after 40 minutes. Rovers regained composure and, despite controlling the game, they had to wait until early in the second half for the equalising goal.
Good work from Ben Khemis to evade four Bradford players saw him open up enough space to curl a low effort in from 20 yards out to get Rovers back on level terms.
As the game drew to a close it was Rovers who looked the more likely for the win, but a scramble in the box after Danny Devine’s ball in eventually fell kindly for Hudson to slot home his second and gift the Bantams the three points.
Schofield was also pleased with the influence of the first team players that were involved, with Craig Alcock, Houghton and Ben Khemis all getting 90 minutes under their belts.
“Their attitude has been brilliant and it rubs off, Danny Amos and Louis Jones have had a good game too, it’s disappointing not to win but, looking at individual performances, they will all only develop,” he added.
“Everybody wants to go in the same direction, and we are all driving the standards up, from the first team down to these lads, and when they are mixing and learning from the first teamers it can only be a good thing.
“The young lads are listening to people like Craig and Jordan, and while the result might seem sour now, you have to look at the whole picture and you can take a lot of positives out of the game.”