Rovers’ U18s lost their opening EFL Youth Cup campaign against a strong Bolton Wanderers side.
U18s boss Gary McSheffrey made six changes to the side that lost against Grimsby last weekend with him handing opportunities to some U16 players.
Rovers started the strongest out of the two sides with some of the best chances coming for the returning Ethan Harrison, who throughout the game saw his efforts come off the post and be stopped by Bolton’s goalkeeper.
McSheffrey’s team had a strong shout for a penalty turned down with Harrison brought down in the box, but the referee did not acknowledge the calls.
Bolton then raced into a 3-0 lead. Their first goal came from a Bolton free kick, the second was a through some scrappy defending before the third was put away by the visitors left back from the penalty spot after Petch gave away the spot kick.
Two changes were made to the Rovers team at the break with Josh Lindley and Justin Bennett replaced Bobby Faulkner and Will Hollings.
Soon after the start of the second-half, Bolton scored their fourth after their impressive number 10 headed past Luke Chadwick.
From this point onwards the game became quite a scrappy affair, with Bolton now allowing our youngsters anytime on the ball.Rovers got some second wind in the final 10-minutes with some good passages of play and another golden opportunity for Harrison who hit the post.
The second cup game will be played September 25 away at Mansfield. While the lads are back in action next weekend as they visit Scunthorpe United at 11am on August 28.