Rovers U18s recorded their first away win of the season as they defeated Burton Albion at St. George’s Park to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Second-half goals from Jack Goodman and Faris Khan were enough to ensure Rovers took another three points in the EFL Youth Alliance with the hosts failing to reply.
The result sees Chad Gribble’s side record not only back-to-back victories but clean sheets also for the first time this season as they backed up a 5-0 demolition of Hull City in their previous game.
The visitors wasted no time in putting pressure on the hosts from the whistle, winning a corner in the first minute which Faris Khan swung in to an unmarked Max Adamson but the striker couldn’t guide the ball into the goal and was denied of taking the lead.
Then, after 10 minutes of battling in all departments of play, Adamson found himself involved again.
The first-year scholar played an advancing ball into the box for Jack Raper to take on but it would be the same result with the young midfielder dragging his shot wide of the post.
Rovers continued their attacking play throughout the opening half hour and saw further chances come their way but would still find themselves searching for the opening goal as Charlie Petch only managed to direct an effort over the crossbar with Raper seeing an effort from range collected by the goalkeeper.
The Brewers would then find themselves presented with their first real opening of the game on the counter attack in the final minutes of the half with an attacker having the space and time in the box to take a shot on but the forward would see his effort rise well over the bar.
Both sides would then look to finish the opening period strongly and find that illusive goal but neither team would be successful as they entered the break tied in deadlock.
Josh Lindley would then get play back underway for the second half but it wouldn’t be for long with play temporarily brought to a halt for Will Flint to receive treatment for a head collision but as play was resumed, Gribble made a change up front in pursuit of a goal.
Owen Scattergood replaced Adamson as the attacking pressure continued to build.
It would however be Rovers’ keeper Jake Oram to be called into action next with Albion looking to capitalise on the counter when a winger broke through on the right and looked to bear down on goal but the visitors’ stopper was out quick to block a shot and clear the danger.
Rovers would then look to get back on the front foot and minutes later found the breakthrough they were looking for.
A determined Khan fought well to win the ball back on the edge of the box before passing on to Raper who was able to knock it on to Jack Goodman to turn his man and fire beyond the keeper, into the left hand side of the goal to give Rovers a deserved lead.
The hosts then looked to immediately find a response to falling behind but with the visitors standing firm and defending well, Rovers would double their lead a short time later.
With less than 20 minutes left on the clock, Goodman beat his marker on the right of the box and fired at the near post but the striker would see his shot directed towards the penalty spot, after an initial save, where the lurking Khan was ready to slot home and give his side daylight between themselves and their opponents.
Gribble would then turn to his bench as Rovers looked to tighten their grip on the fixture with Justin Bennett and Harry Wood replacing Lindley and Khan respectively.
The latter of those substitutes would then almost immediately make an impact on the score line as Wood used good skill to sit his marker on the ground and found himself with the chance to get the visitors a third goal but his shot would be aimed straight at the keeper and saved.
Rovers’ first goal scorer Goodman would then make way for Freddie Allen in the final knockings as the visitors saw out stoppage time to secure yet another clean sheet.
Gribble’s side will now look to build on the momentum they have created since the start of the season as they prepare to take on Scunthorpe United at Cantley Park in the EFL Youth Alliance League on Saturday, September 24.