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Rovers U18s 0 Rochdale U18s 3

30 October 2018

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Rovers U18 side bowed out of the FA Youth Cup after being edged out by a clinical Rochdale side.

Paul Stancliffe's side played their part in an entertaining encounter, but the visiting side made the most of their chances to progress to the second round.

Rovers keeper Lewis Landers was forced into an early save to deny Florian Yonsian whose powerful pace saw him break through on goal.

AJ Greaves saw his strike from 25-yards go over the bar, after Rieves Boocock was originally tripped while attacking Rochdale's goal which won Rovers the free-kick.

Branden Horton played Greaves' corner back across goal, but that came at no avail as there was no Rovers player on hand to get the finishing touch.

Rovers cut Rochdale open through the middle of the park as Cameron Barnett sliced a pass through to Boocock – who forced a save out of Piper – but the linesman already had his flag up for offside.

The side fell behind in the 18th minute after a pin-point corner was delivered into the area and headed home powerfully by Adejuwon Hamzat.

Rovers were quick to respond as Greaves forced Piper into a stretching save moments later, while more pressure from Rovers saw Boocock's close range effort go inches wide of the post.

It did not seem to be Rovers' day after Greaves had another glance on goal blocked by a Rochdale defender.

Horton cut inside to the area before feeding Jack Watson who saw his effort parried over the crossbar.

Again, Horton chopped in from the left but tried to go alone this time as he drilled the ball goalward, but Piper was quick to get down to his near post.

Rovers came out fighting in the second-half when Horton floated a ball into the area which found Watson, although his effort didn't cause too many problems for Piper.

Walker crossed the ball in from the right which met the head of Gibbons, but the Rovers forward struggled to direct the ball on target.

Another chance that didn ot fall Rovers' way saw Horton's floating ball into the missed both on-rushing Gibbons and Watson.

Dale won a penalty after Horton was judged to have tripped one of their attackers in the box – Florent Hoti stepped up to confidently convert and ensure his side had one foot in the next round.

Moments later they put the tie beyond doubt when Harrison Hopper - allowed too much space in the area by a slightly demoralised defence - slotted home.


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