Rovers U18s exited the FA Youth Cup at the first round stage after falling to defeat against Lincoln City U18s at the LNER Stadium.
An early goal from this season’s top scorer Jack Goodman gave the visitors the lead but the hosts then netted three times through Tayo Tucker, Nathan Kabeya and Julian Donnery to ensure they were the side to advance to the second round.
Harry Wood was sent off in the second half which meant Rovers were forced to play the final 20 minutes of the fixture with a man disadvantage.
Josh Lindley got Rovers’ FA Youth Cup campaign underway with his side looking to get on top early but the first major chance of the game went Lincoln’s way with a shot from the edge of the box, but Jake Oram did well to get down low and stop the Imps from opening the scoring.
However, despite the home side finding the first chance, Rovers would be the side to execute an opportunity just five minutes later as Jack Goodman beat his man to meet a pass just inside the right hand side of the box to go one-on-one and smash the ball in off the post to give his side the lead less than 10 minutes in.
The game then opened up with Lincoln looking for a response and they nearly found it with two quick chances on the 20 minute mark but neither would succeed with one hitting the side netting and Tucker dragging a shot from the edge of the box wide of the post.
Goodman then came within inches of doubling Rovers’ lead after been afforded plenty of time of his own on the edge of the box to drill an effort at goal but it would whisker wide as he was agonisingly denied.
From that moment on more chances came the way of the hosts with a number of corners being won and saves being made by Oram to keep his side’s lead intact.
Jack Raper became the first player to receive a yellow card as he tried to nullify a counter attack just before the break but minutes later his effort would be in vain.
Lincoln came forward on the counter once more deep into stoppage time and worked the ball out to Donnery who played a ball back into Tucker to prod home into the bottom corner to see the scores level at the break.
As play resumed for the second half, Lincoln again caused problems for Rovers on the counter as Charlie Petch received a yellow card but Rovers would find the first big chance of the second period 10 minutes in.
Tom Parkinson got forward on the left wing and managed to get a cross off towards Faris Khan who did well to spin back on his run and power a header at the near bottom corner to give the Imps goalkeeper an issue in saving but he did well to get across and turn behind for a corner.
The next ten minutes saw the referee utilise his cards towards both sides on three separate occasions, first booking Osei Boffah for kicking the ball away, then Jak Whiting for a foul and then sending Wood off for what was deemed to be a foul just a minute after replacing Khan from the bench.
From that moment on, Lincoln started to get on top and had a shot denied by the post but it would not take much longer for the hosts to take advantage of the extra man.
Just seven minutes later a scramble in Rovers’ box after a corner saw Kabeya receive the ball and slam home from close range to see the home side take the lead of the tie.
With Rovers then chasing the game, Will Green was introduced in place of Max Adamson as they tried to find a late equaliser.
The visitors pushed almost everyone forward and after a successful spell on the left wing, the ball was crossed in and it broke free for Lindley to take a shot on first time but it lacked the direction needed and it was straight at the Lincoln stopper who comfortably held.
Rovers rolled one last throw of the dice as Alex Fletcher made way for Owen Scattergood as more fire power looked to have been put into the frontline but with everyone forward, the Imps would capitalise at the other end.
The hosts’ defence did well to soak up all of the late pressure that was been applied and managed to clear the ball to the left for Donnery who had broken free and ran towards goal where he slowed the play down and calmly slotted past Oram to put the result out of doubt and seal Rovers’ exit from this season’s FA Youth Cup.
Rovers U18s will now look to re-group and take on another quick turnaround as they prepare to return to EFL Youth Alliance League action and home comforts as they face Grimsby Town at Cantley Park on Saturday, October 29.