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Rovers Development 1 Sheffield United U21s 3

7 November 2018

John Schofield’s Development side put in yet another strong performance in the side’s second Premier League Cup game against Sheffield United but they were unable to come away with anything for their efforts.

Rovers were level at the break when Ali Crawford’s free-kick saw them come back from Jordan Hallam’s opener, before Hallam completed his hat-trick after the interval.

Crawford had the game’s opening chance inside the first couple of minutes as he received the ball from Jermaine Anderson 25 yards out from goal, looking to catch Marcus Dewhurst off his line, only to see his audacious chip go just over the bar.

Simeon Oure would be a thorn in the Rovers’ side in the game’s early encounters, firstly pulling back for George Broadbent to shoot before having another opportunity to fire a shot on goal for himself a few moments later, only to see Louis Jones behind both efforts.

Crawford was at the heart of most things from a Rovers perspective, and he had the next opportunity to open the scoring as the half passed the halfway point, stepping up for a free kick from 25 yards out, only to see it go over the bar.

The opener would arrive shortly after this with Oure once again at the forefront of the move for the Blades.

He stole the ball in the middle of the park and ran down the left, threading the ball through for Hallam and he kept his composure to slot under Jones to give the visitors the lead.

Rovers responded well though, and Trialist A went close as he cut on to his left foot from distance to shoot, curling just over the bar, but it wouldn’t be long before they were level.

A free-kick was awarded right on the edge of the box after Alfie May was tripped by Jake Wright, and Crawford stepped up to curl low round the wall and into the bottom right corner to get Rovers back on level terms.

The hosts came out firing after the break, with Anderson first to test Dewhurst from distance with an effort that stung the palms of the Blades stopper.

Oure then got in behind for the visitors before shooting, only to see Jones deny him again.

Hallam looked dangerous for the Blades, and tried his luck from distance too, crashing an effort off the post from 25 yards out.

He wouldn’t be denied his second of the game though, as his next effort on target found the back of Jones’ goal.

A good move between Jordan Doherty and Reece York down the right hand side saw the latter sweep the ball into the middle and Hallam was there to tap the ball home from six yards out giving the Blades the lead for the second time in the game.

Like in the first-half, Rovers responded well and they had two great chances in a matter of seconds to get level once more.

First Will Longbottom broke through the middle, cutting on to his favoured left-foot and shooting from distance, only to see his shot rattle the crossbar.

From the loose ball, Danny Amos picked it up and crossed back into the area for Alfie Beestin who rose above Wright to head on goal, only to see Dewhurst at full stretch to deny him.

May was next to try and force an equaliser, breaking into the box and shooting low across the face of goal only to see his shot flash just wide of the far post.

The game would be beyond Rovers with five minutes left to play, with Cody Prior bringing down Oure in the area, and Hallam stepped up to send Jones the wrong way with the spot kick and complete his treble.

Rovers Development squad next face Notts County at Cantley Park on Tuesday November 20 in the Central League North, before travelling to the home of Lancashire County FA to face Blackburn Rovers in their third group game of the Premier League Cup.

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