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REPORT | Rovers U18s 1 Peterborough U18s 2

4 February 2023


REPORT | Rovers U18s 1 Peterborough U18s 2

4 February 2023

Rovers U18s fell to a first loss at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre in over a year as they bowed out of the Professional Development League Cup against Peterborough United.

Harry Titchmarsh opened the scoring early on for the Posh but Harry Wood looked to have sent the game to extra time late on with a great finish, only to see Ntege snatch the win at the death for the visitors.

The result saw 10-man Rovers end their inaugural PDL Cup campaign at the quarter-final stage – the furthest any category three side has got this season.

The visitors got play underway at Cantley, but it was the hosts who tried to get on the front foot from the off down the right wing, swinging in a cross but it was cleared and Peterborough settled into the game.

Despite starting brightly, Frank Sinclair’s side wouldn’t be the side to break the deadlock as, on the eighth minute, a misplaced pass in Rovers’ backline gifted the ball to Titchmarsh and the midfielder was left with a comfortable finish into the bottom-right corner to give United the first goal.

From that moment on, the hosts looked for a route back into the game and with 25 minutes on the clock, goalkeeper Jake Oram picked up a knock but as there was no ‘keeper named amongst the substitutes, the number one was forced to battle on.

On the half-hour mark Will Green found himself with his first chance of the game as he broke into the box on the right-hand side but with his shot blocked, he attempted to clip the ball back into the box where Jack Goodman looked destined to nod home but the ball was cleared.

The home side then carried on their spell of attacking pressure towards the break with the best chance coming to Faris Khan who glanced an effort across goal and just wide as the first half came to a close.

Looking to get back on level terms, at the beginning of the second half, Sinclair introduced Kasper Williams and Justin Bennett in place of Tom Parkinson and Josh Lindley respectively in an attempt to change Rovers’ fortunes.

The hosts started in the same manner as the first with a bright spell but with a goal still to be found, another change was made, this time in the attacking department as Max Adamson replaced Khan.

Green then saw another chance come and go as his free kick attempt rose just too high and cleared the crossbar before Williams gave away a set piece at the other end and received a yellow card for his troubles.

The game then opened up with the next goal looking pivotal but on the 70th minute, in similar fashion to his first, Williams gave away another foul at the back and was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

Now down to ten men, Rovers continued to look for an equaliser while been cautious of not losing their structure as Jack Raper became the next player to enter the referee’s book with a quarter of an hour still to play.

Just a minute later Will Green made way for Harry Wood and it would prove to be the substitute that gave the hosts what they were searching for.

Wood cut inside from the left and, after shouts from the bench to shoot, took aim at the top-right corner and as the ball sat up for him, it flew beyond the ‘keeper and into the back of the net to restore parity with nine minutes to play.

The remaining time would see Rovers in the ascendancy as they looked to be the team more likely to find a winner and avoid the need for extra time, but it wasn’t to be.

Peterborough came forward down the right in the first of four added minutes, crossed the ball into the box and, despite contention, it fell to Ntege a matter of yards out and it was tapped home to see United take a late lead.

Rovers tried desperately to find a response in the remaining minutes but the Posh defended well and ensured they were the side to advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

The youth team will now focus on the remainder of their EFL Youth Alliance League campaign as Sinclair’s side gear up to host Huddersfield Town on Saturday, February 11.

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