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Academy

Notts County U18 0 Rovers U18 1

12 August 2019

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The U18s first away game of the season took them to Notts County where they picked up their second win on the bounce.

Paul Stancliffe named an unchanged side from the team that beat Grimsby Town 4-1 on opening day with goalkeeper Ben Bottomley – who missed last week through illness – returning to the bench and U16 Alek Wolny earning a call-up.

Rovers’ first chance came through Ethan Bojang as he threaded a pass through the heart of County’s backline which resulted in a right-footed shot being hit wide by Jack Watson.

This was followed up by Liam Ravenhill and Junior Smith both lunging for the ball but got their legs tangled around defender Stern Irvine who was insistent on not letting the Rovers forwards have a chance on goal.

The ball fell kindly to Smith in the box but he couldn’t quite get it to settle at his feet to get a challenging shot on target.

Smith once again found himself involved in the action as he got on the end of a good ball played by Watson but he struggled with the finish due to the on-coming opposition goalkeeper Tiernan Brooks.

Notts County came close with their first big chance on the half hour mark as Taylor Conway chipped a free kick from 25 yards into the side netting.

Rovers the lead ten minutes towards the end of the first half when Brooks came off his line too quickly which allowed Watson to walk the ball around him and calmly find the back of the net.

Weather conditions deteriorated in the second-half but it didn’t knock Rovers off their stride.

Watson did well to stride down the left before providing a low diagonal to Liam Ravenhill – the Rovers wide man was quickly shut down by the Notts defence.

Bojang tried his luck from 30 yards when he volleyed an effort which skimmed the cross bar to hit the fencing behind goal. The young teenager really wanted his goal as moments later he curled a shot from the edge of the area which Brooks was able to dive down to deny.

Elliott Walker managed to get a shot away on goal despite being tackled Kayne McKenna in the process.

It was end-to-end stuff with Charlie Wilde powering a shot straight at Johnson before Smith broke down the left to force a corner out of Brooks.

After Ravenhill fouled their attacker, Notts County were awarded a free kick James Snedden whipped to the back post only to watch his ball be headed over the bar.

A great diving challenge from skipper Ben Blythe stops Kayne McKenna powerful shot from going in. County won a corner from the clearance which lead to them heading wide of goal.

Watson had one more chance to double his goal tally as he tried  lifting it over the keeper from close range only to watch it bounce agonisingly off the cross bar.               


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