Rovers’ U18s record an impressive win over Category One side Leeds United.
The game started off brightly and at a good tempo for both sides under the eyes of Richie Wellens and his first-team coaching staff.
It was Gary McSheffrey’s youngsters who deservedly took the lead through Tom Parkinson following a nice phase of passive play.
Rovers really got into a rhythm following that goal and remained on top for near enough the remainder of the first half. Pressure was increased from Rovers through forward Tavonga Kuleya, who after cutting in from the left, spun an effort wide of target.
Kuleya was given another chance in front of goal after a mistake from Leeds’ defence, but the visiting goalkeeper saved his side's blushes.
Leeds enjoyed a short spell of possession in their own half, but Rovers defended amicably before clearing the decks to find Jack Goodman. The U18s striker beat the offside trap, but three Leeds defenders eventually caught him to prevent him from scoring.
Another mistake from their backline allowed two quickfire shots but their keeper was once again to the rescue.
The last chance of the first-half came from Jak Whiting after he fizzed a ball across the face of goal, but it was inches away from the impending Rovers shirts and ended up going out for a goal kick.
The second half brought plenty of changes to the playing personnel, with the squad still building their fitness levels.
Rovers remained the strongest of the two sides with a great chance arriving after some brilliant football which started from the back and finished with Alek Wolny edging a shot just wide of goal.
A trialist made a great case for himself after coming on. He teed up Kuleya who burst through on goal, only to watch his effort slide wide. This was the start of a period of play where Rovers missed plenty of brilliant chances when one-on-one with goal.
The trialist continued to have an outstanding game as he grabbed Rovers’ second goal while the hailstone and thunderstorm battered Cantley Park.
Despite being down to nine men, due to injury, the visitors managed to pull back a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game.
Gary McSheffrey's side will now head to Newcastle this weekend for a behind closed door friendly, before travelling to Thorne Colliery on August 3, 7pm. That will round-up the youth teams preparations for the 2021/22 season which will kick-off on August 7 away at Lincoln City.