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Academy

Rovers U18s 4 Burton Albion U18s 1

2 September 2019

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A magnificent individual performance saw Jack Watson score four as Rovers U18s came from behind to defeat Burton Albion 4-1 in the EFL Youth Alliance.

Neither side really got to grips with the first-half but the visitors Burton broke the deadlock.

Within the opening ten minutes, Rovers found themselves behind - Emmanuel Shittu dinked the ball from the left which Ben Bottomley stopped but captain Tom Armitage was able to stab into the net. 

Beaming with confidence, Armitage sent the ball crashing into the right-hand post as he let loose on goal again.

Liam Ravenhill had a good chance for Rovers to come level as he curled a chance to the top left corner but the wind carried it over the bar. Moments later, he tried a similar shot again, with the wind prevailing a second time.

Junior Smith penetrated through midfield, brushing past defenders en route to goal, but his resulting shot was stopped by visiting keeper Nathan Smith.

Rovers came out firing in the second-half as they looked to not let the one goal deficit put them off by applying plenty of pressure to Burton’s box. Stand by for a Jack Watson masterclass.

Burton did stand firm until the 57th minute when Jack Watson opened his account for the morning when he bent a ball into the left corner – leaving Smith absolutely no chance of saving.

Will McGowan provided a fantastic assist when pinged a high ball towards the back post where Watson was on hand to jump up and head home.

By the 64th minute, Watson had his hattrick – just seven minutes after scoring his first – as he latched onto the end of a great ball in the box.

Substitute Luca Nelson returned to the field of play after a summer of absence due to a heart problem and he almost scored with his first touch after Rovers caught Burton on the counter.

Before the game finished, Watson wanted to add a fourth to his tally for the game after a low stinging cross from Rovers allowed the forward to glide the ball into the net.

Paul Stancliffe’s U18s now remain unbeaten in all competitions since the opening day of the season on August Saturday 3.

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