Rovers U18s bounced back from midweek defeat with a convincing 2-0 victory over Lincoln City thanks to goals from Junior Smith and Nathan Dimou.
Ben Blythe missed the game after picking up a hamstring injury during their FA Youth Cup defeat to Mansfield midweek. The captain’s armband was handed to Lirak Hasani.
Within six minutes of kick-off, Rovers had taken the lead through Junior Smith who burst down the left-hand side before neatly finishing into the bottom right corner.
Four minutes later Jack Watson glided down the left-wing, exploiting Lincoln’s vulnerability down that side. His shot caught Ross Woolley off-guard and he spilt the effort, but with the help of his shielding defenders he was able to scoop back up.
Nathan Dimou put in a perfectly timed challenge to stop Curtis Durose in his tracks who was storming through on goal.
Rovers grabbed their second goal from a corner which was whipped in by Will McGowan, he found the rising head of Dimou who nodded past Woolley.
Watson almost scored a sensational goal as controlled the ball with his chest, before turning and pulling the trigger from the edge of the box, but his strike was just off target.
Upon the start of the second-half, Lincoln came out and applied plenty of pressure on Rovers, taking control of possession and forcing the side into more defending.
The first opportunity of the half that came Rovers’ way was a neat ball probed through to Watson by Smith. Watson turned back onto his right foot and his powerful shot required Woolley to tip it over the bar.
An opportunity came the team’s way from a thrown-in with a crafty dummy from McGowan putting the ball into the path of Lewis Cunningham who had a pop on goal from 30-yards on the left-flank.
Lincoln midfielder Jack Brown was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Watson. Rovers won a free-kick out of it and McGowan set his eye on goal from the get-go with the ball bending just past the top right corner of goal.
At the other end of the pitch, Brown had an opportunity to take a free-kick for the visitors but he hammered the ball against Rovers’ wall who were resilient and desperate to hang on to their clean sheet.
The final big chance of the game came Lincoln’s way when they hit the post from six-yards out.
Rovers have won their last three Youth Alliance League matches and head to Fleetwood full of confidence with the hope of qualifying into the second round of the Youth Alliance Cup.