Rovers U18s put on a great second half performance on home soil to turn the game on its head and take a win against Huddersfield Town.
The Terriers went two goals to the good at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre before Owen Scattergood, Will Green and Jack Goodman struck to complete a comeback victory.
Josh Lindley got proceedings underway for Rovers and they nearly took the lead immediately.
Tom Parkinson swung a corner in towards the far post and Goodman looked to have steered it into the goal but a Town defender appeared at the last second and cleared the ball to safety to deny the striker.
Despite Rovers’ bright start to the game, the first goal went the opposition’s way as a long range effort stung the palms of U16 debutant Jacob Bryant and was parried as far as an attacker who was left to tap home and take the lead.
The game then opened up with a battle in the midfield but after the visitors put an effort over the bar, they doubled their lead on the 26th minute when a midfielder rifled the ball into the top-left corner from outside the box.
In the final 20 minutes of the opening period Rovers looked for a route back into the game but with Faris Khan’s effort well over the crossbar and Goodman’s blocked, the hosts went into the break trailing by two.
The home side then came out for the second-half with a clear attacking intent and almost got on the scoresheet five minutes in when Harry Wood’s free kick stung the palms of the visiting goalkeeper but the search for a goal went on.
Goodman was unlucky with a bounce off a great Tom Parkinson cross and he couldn’t turn the ball home before the latter made way for the first substitution of the game, with Will Green coming on.
After 64 minutes, Wood tried to drill home a shot from just outside the area and it would prove to be his last contribution to the game as he was replaced by attacking midfielder Owen Scattergood, with a first Rovers goal still to be found.
Just six minutes later, the changes made would pay off.
A Terriers’ defender pulled up and Alex Fletcher took advantage to fizz a cross into the goalmouth for an unmarked Owen Scattergood to place home and half the deficit with 19 minutes to play.
Minutes later defender Will Flint used his head to clear the ball off Rovers’ goal line to stop another Huddersfield goal and it would prove to be pivotal as into the last 10 minutes, Sinclair’s side found their equaliser.
Freddie Allen did brilliantly to get forward down the left wing and got a cross off into the box where his first-year scholar counterpart, Green was ready and waiting to smash the ball into the back of the net from a matter of yards out and restore parity.
With momentum on their side and Rovers well in the ascendancy, there seemed to be a sense of inevitability that pointed towards the hosts finding a winner and with 84 minutes on the clock, their talisman found it.
Scattergood advanced through the midfield and with the sight of Goodman peeling off towards the left, the midfielder played the ball into him and the number nine slammed it across the ‘keeper to net his 17th goal of the campaign and give his side the lead.
Over the remaining time at Cantley Park, the visitors desperately looked for a response but Rovers stood tall and defended well to take victory and maintain their unbeaten league start to 2023.
The youth team will now look to build on their win and build some momentum as they prepare to face Burton Albion on home soil in the EFL Youth Alliance League on Saturday, February 18.