Jason Lokilo’s first goal in a Rovers shirt earned his team a hard-fought point on the road against a very experienced Grimsby Town reserve team at Blundell Park.
The Rovers team contained a mix of youth (with three U18s players called up) and experience with Alex Baptiste and Lokilo using the U23s to find full fitness as they work towards joining up with the first team.
The U23s were given a rare and valuable opportunity to play at a club’s home stadium and battled against difficult weather conditions as well as testing their skills against some very experienced Grimsby Town players.
Despite that, Lokilo got Rovers off to the perfect start when his excellent free kick curled in with just two minutes of the match played, and Rovers had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the second half with Jack Watson close to turning in Max Watters’ cross and AJ Greaves lashing wide from the edge of the box.
Lokilo had a shot saved, and some timely defending was the only thing that denied Watters from doubling the lead.
In the second half, Grimsby Town got more of a grip of the game and came flying out of the traps.
Louis Jones was called on to make two early saves. The hosts hit the crossbar and Jones made another good stop before Matt Green poked home an equaliser from close range.
The youngsters showed real resilience in the closing stages of the match and carved a few half-chances but both teams cancelled each other out and settled for a point.