Rovers U18s kicked off their EFL Youth Alliance League season in style as they convincingly beat Scunthorpe United at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre.
Max Adamson scored a goal within minutes of the start of each half as Will Green and captain Will Flint added the other two opening day successes.
The result sees the youth team sit top of the league after the first round of fixtures but they now take their first break of the season to focus on cup football.
Just two minutes into the new season, Jaiden Campbell-Ryce picked the ball up in the middle of the park and timed his pass perfectly to play in Adamson down the middle to draw the keeper out and fire home to take the lead.
Rovers then looked to immediately add to their early lead but on the 11th minute, it looked like the task would not be so straightforward.
The visitors drew a foul out of Chris Pooley, won a penalty and, despite Jacob Bryant saving the initial shot, the ball fell favourably to the penalty taker and he turned home at the second attempt.
Scunthorpe forced another save from Bryant on the counter as they looked to be finding their way into the game but just before the half-hour mark, the hosts retook the lead.
After being forced to restart their attack, Rovers got down the right hand side well and Harry Wood picked the ball up in behind before pulling back for Will Green to set himself and slot home on his right foot.
Back in front, the home side looked to assert their dominance with Campbell-Ryce having a shot saved and Adamson hitting the post twice, but a single goal was all that separated the two sides at the break.
Immediately after the restart, Adamson had another chance narrowly miss when trying to pick out the top right corner but on 48 minutes he made no mistake.
Pooley did brilliantly on the right to work toward the near post and he delivered an inch-perfect cross into the goalmouth for Rovers’ number nine to beat the keeper, smash home and bag his brace.
With daylight now between themselves and their opponents, the hosts looked to push on as Campbell-Ryce and Sam Brown had similar efforts from range saved at the bottom left corner, but the next breakthrough wasn’t far away.
In the 67th minute of the game, Green stepped up to a corner on the right-hand side, swung it beautifully into the box and skipper Flint jumped higher than anyone else to meet the ball and nod it into the goal for Rovers’ fourth goal.
Campbell-Ryce, Kasper Williams and Green then all made way for Kenneth Imariagbe, Jacob Bacon and Jamie Tomlinson respectively over the next 10 minutes – with Rovers still searching for more success.
Freddie Allen looked to have become the next Rovers goal scorer with a great headed attempt but an equally as good save from the keeper tipped the ball away for a corner.
In the last ten minutes of the game, the visitors got another chance on the counter as they cut inside from the left and tried to pick out the far top corner, only for the ball to be cannoned across Cantley Park.
Adamson then had two final attempts at getting an opening day hat-trick, with his head, but two superb diving saves kept the ball out and the striker was forced to settle with his brace as Rovers saw out the rest of the game to victory.
Rovers U18s will look to build on their dominant start to the league campaign as they turn their attentions to matchday one of the EFL Youth Alliance League Cup, and the challenge of Blackpool at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday, August 19.