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Rovers U18 4 Mansfield Town U18 2

1 October 2018

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Rieves Boocock took his goalscoring run to eight goals in three games with a hat-trick as Rovers' U18 side beat Mansfield Town in a top-of-the-table thriller at Cantley Park.

Coach Paul Stancliffe was dealt with an injury blow during the week as Cameron Foulkes picked-up a knee injury, meaning Branden Horton had to drop to centre-back while Martin Smith came in at left-back.

A quick and intense start from Rovers saw them take the lead within five minutes when Cameron Barnett lifted the ball over Mansfield's backline, releasing Boocock through on goal and enabled him to stroke the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle.

From there, Rovers looked like a persistent threat to Mansfield. A neat one-two was played between AJ Greaves and Barnett – leaving the Stags stunned – from a corner, before the cross came in and Ben Blythe slashed it just over the bar.

Rovers had the ball in the back of the net as Jack Watson played through Hamza Mohammed, whose shot went in via the underside of the crossbar only for the assistant's flag to go up.

Shortly after Rovers did double their lead through the in-form Boocock – the goal originated from goalkeeper Lewis Landers who started off a great passing movement building-up from back to front before Boocock muscled off two markers and struck low into the bottom-right corner.

Rovers had a two-goal lead going into the break, but they did not want to stop there – in the second-half Stancliffe opted for an even more attacking approach – pushing his full-backs further up field.

And Rovers had their third goal after Barnett's shot was deflected goalwards by Boocock to secure his hat-trick.

Hamza Mohammed made it four with his first for the club when he beautifully cut inside and smashed into ta top corner from 30-yards – leaving Stags keeper Marr no chance of saving.

Injuries forced a reshuffle at the back for the final 15 minutes, and the visitors grabbed two consolation strikes which made the game look a lot closer than it was.

Ryan Ingram pulled one back with an effort which went in via a post, while Jummy Knowles grabbed the second - again aided by an inexperienced backline which resulted in the ball trickling home.

The 4-2 victory, though, strengthens Rovers' position at the top of the EFL North East Youth Division.

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