A late sucker punch from Hartlepool United’s U18 team leaves Rovers’ U18s deflated – after suffering a 0-1 defeat at Cantley Park.
Branden Horton took the captain's armband for the game while AJ Greaves served his match suspension.
Rieves Boocock and Myron Gibbons joined Horton with all three playing their first game since officially signing professional contracts with the club last week.
Early doors, it was an evenly-contested performance with both sides looking to get the ball down and dominate possession – it was what you expected from two title-battling teams.
Within the first 25-minutes of the game the most joy Rovers got in Hartlepool’s half was four corners but Rovers failed to make them opportunities count.
The Pools did begin to assert themselves more into the game as their forward Coleby Shepherd came close to breaking deadlock.
Boocock then came near to scoring for Rovers when his headed effort glided just wide – keeping Hartlepool keeper Bradley Young on his toes.
In the second-half Hartlepool won an early free-kick from a close distance, but they ended up shooting off-target.
Rovers full-back Elliott Walker whacked an effort into the side-netting after he sweetly struck the ball on the volley.
Quick fire shots then came in from Boocock, but he was denied by a very stubborn Pools defence who didn’t want to lose their clean sheet.
Within the dying moments of an otherwise quiet game – Hartlepool scored a heart-breaking 87th minute winner when Ben Bottomley rushed out of his goal, allowing space for Shepherd to tuck it past him into the right-hand-side of the net.
The result gives Paul Stancliffe’s side just their fifth defeat of the season and with three games left to play the race for the division title continues to heat up.