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Mansfield Town U18 1 Rovers U18 2

3 February 2020


Mansfield Town U18 1 Rovers U18 2

3 February 2020

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Goals from Jack Watson and Junior Smith saw Rovers’ U18 side claim three points at title rivals Mansfield Town.

Coach Paul Stancliffe made one change to the side that beat Huddersfield Town 6-2 in the previous game, with Lewis Cunningham returning to the side in place of a trialist who had featured against the Terriers.

Rovers marked their territory early with Lirak Hasani hitting the crossbar from 30-yards from a free-kick.

Owan Derrett skipped inside off the right wing but his shot was slammed into the side netting after being forced to shoot from an acute angle by Mansfield’s defence.

Keeping up their attacking endeavour, Smith did well to win and hold onto the ball on the left flank before feeding through Watson who bent his shot wide from just outside of the box.

Rovers’ persistence paid off after 30 minutes when Watson was played in by Derrett, and the forward was able to beat his man and the on-coming goalkeeper Maison Campbell.

Celebrations werecut short as it only took Mansfield four minutes to equalise as Ryan Ingram shrugged Ben Blythe off and slid the ball under the legs of Ben Bottomley.

Ingram was close to turning the game around before half-time, but Watson came to the rescue to clear his attempt off the line.

The Stags came out strongly, with their captain Kyle Tomlin pinging an effort over Bottomley’s bar from a free-kick.

Mansfield forward Joshua Scott managed to squeeze an effort past the top right corner, while under substantial pressure from Rovers defenders.

A shot came in from Rovers substitute Marius Conradi, which was low but straight down Campbell’s throat from close range.

In the final minute of normal time Rovers’ grit and determination paid off as Smith bagged the winning goal, beating the offside trap and turning the ball past Campbell.

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