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REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Lincoln U18s 2 (Merit League)

11 April 2023


REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Lincoln U18s 2 (Merit League)

11 April 2023

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Rovers U18s went joint-top of the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League after coming from behind to beat Lincoln City at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre.

Max Adamson marked his return from injury with a brace as captain Will Flint also got on the scoresheet to see Rovers take a third win over the Imps this season.

The result takes the youth team to the summit of the merit league, level on points with Bradford City with three games left to play, including one against the Bantams.

Rovers started the stronger of the two sides at Cantley Park but the first major chance of the game went Lincoln’s way as Jake Oram was called into action on 24 minutes to make a great save with his legs.

Moments later, the hosts almost converted a great set piece as the ball broke in the goalmouth for Freddie Allen but he could only put a ricocheting ball wide.

From the very next goal kick however, Rovers’ early dominance would be undone as the Imps broke in on goal and placed home, across goal to open the scoring.

Frank Sinclair’s side then looked to immediately get back on level terms but a ball that looked to be offside found an attacker on the counter attack and the visitors converted at the far post to go two ahead.

Alex Fletcher then had the chance to reduce the deficit with a free header just before the break but it was put wide and Rovers entered the break two goals behind.

Upon the start of the second half, U16 Jamie Tomlinson replaced a trialist as the home side looked for a goal but with it still to be found, Max Adamson replaced another trialist just before the hour mark.

Rovers then continued to push for a first goal as the temperature of the Doncaster heat began to climb but the Imps defence stood up to everything that came their way approaching the 80th minute.

With 10 minutes of regular time left to play, Kenzie Dillon replaced Faris Khan as Sinclair threw the final roll of the dice and the youngster almost made an instant impact as his shot from inside the box just rose too high.

In the very next minute however, Rovers were given the opportunity to halve the deficit as Tomlinson won his side a penalty.

Adamson stepped up to the spot and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to score and bring his side within one with five minutes of regular play remaining.

The hosts then pushed for a late equaliser and they found it in the 89th minute from another dead ball situation.

Will Green crossed in a ball from a free kick and it found it’s way across to the far post on the left where Flint was ready and waiting to bundle the ball over the line and grab a deserved equaliser.

Lincoln refused to sit back though as they pushed forward to get back ahead and, on two occasions, they almost did but a great save from Oram and a clearance from Allen saw the danger removed.

At the other end, Adamson had the opportunity to square to Harry Wood for a certain winner but his pass was too weak and the danger was cleared, only for the striker to get another opportunity in the sixth of seven added minutes.

Sam Wood played a great ball forward, Adamson trapped it and then took it around the keeper to put into the empty net and grab the winner.

After completely turning the game on it’s head in the last 10 minutes, Rovers saw out the final knockings and claimed an important three points in the EFL Youth Alliance League title race.

The youth team will now take on the first of their three remaining merit league games as they look to claim another victory over Burton Albion at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday April 15.

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