U18s manager Chad Gribble praised his Rovers side following late heroics to secure a third win of pre-season at Club Thorne Colliery.
Rovers went two to the good thanks to a first half brace from Ethan Harrison but required a late Alex Fletcher winner and a Ben Bottomley penalty save to ensure the U18s took the spoils under the lights.
The match saw Gribble’s side take to field for the sixth time in this year’s summer schedule and the manager was impressed with his side’s responses to the increasing challenges throughout preseason.
He said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to get a positive result and I’m really pleased with two of the three goals tonight and the elements of the performance when we had the ball.
“I thought it was a fantastic test for the young players, in particular, based on the physicality and directness of the opposition and I think it tells the players that they need to be more than just talent with the ball and they need to be able to deal with a physical game because I thought there were some physical weaknesses in the younger players tonight.
“We got the exposure we wanted in that sense from the fixture but to be able to withstand some of that pressure at the start of the second half after been 2-0 up and then come back and get the winner late on through a really well worked goal was pleasing.”
A second half substitution saw Alex Fletcher introduced to the game and go on to get the winner leaving Gribble to pay credit to the strength in depth in the U18s.
He added: “Across the season you need everybody to contribute and that’s vitally important and I think it shows that the players on the bench in any given moment need to be ready and it shows that the believe that a certain individual can come on and change a game needs to be there.
“Bringing on Fletcher wasn’t a tactically tweak by any means, it was a like-for-like swap to make sure we got minutes into legs with us still building for the season but it’s someone that’s come on and added value on the pitch in the same way the player who started in that position did.
“It’s pleasing that there is a group of younger players that are ready to challenge for a shirt."