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REPORT | Rovers U18s 2 Harrogate U18s 2

23 January 2023


REPORT | Rovers U18s 2 Harrogate U18s 2

23 January 2023

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Rovers U18s came from behind in the final 10 minutes at the Eco-Power Stadium but a last gasp equaliser meant the points were shared with Harrogate Town.

A fourth brace in seven games from leading goalscorer Jack Goodman cancelled out Josh Brodella’s opener for Town before Finn O’Boyle popped up to snatch a point in the 89th minute.

The result sees Rovers maintain their unbeaten start to 2023 after returning to EFL Youth Alliance League action on the 3G pitch at the stadium with the game been moved due to the adverse weather conditions.

The visitors got play underway and the opening confrontations were tightly contested with neither team giving anything away but, eventually, the first chance came Harrogate’s way and forced Jake Oram into a great diving save to keep the deadlock 10 minutes in.

The next quarter of an hour saw a strong battle for midfield superiority with Rovers enjoying the majority of the possession but the next chance didn’t come until the 23rd minute.

Charlie Petch played a superbly weighted cross over the top of the defence for Goodman to bring down and take around the keeper but by the time the talisman could get his shot off, he could only put it into the side netting and out for a goal kick.

Josh Lindley tried to open the scoring with a curling effort from midfield but it was comfortably held and minutes later Harrogate found the breakthrough.

The visitors played in from the left that looked goal bound and Oram got a hand to it but the ball fell at the feet of Brodella who was left to tap home from a matter of yards out and take the lead on 36 minutes.

Will Green then looked to equalise from distance in the dying minutes of the opening half but his effort was wide and Rovers trailed by a goal at the break.

Once the game had resumed, the theme of the first half continued with the battle in the middle of the park dictating play, but with no instant response found by Rovers, Frank Sinclair made his first changes of the game.

On the hour mark, Harry Wood and Justin Bennett made way for Max Adamson and Jack Raper respectively as the hosts searched for a goal.

The home side then continued to mount the attacking pressure, but with the illusive goal still evading them, more offensive options were thrown into play with Owen Scattergood and Ethan Harrison taking the places of Will Green and Tom Parkinson for the final 15 minutes.

Into the last 10 minutes, the changes paid off when Adamson looked to have beaten his man only to be tagged from behind and brought down for a penalty.

Goodman stepped up from the spot, sent the keeper the wrong way and calmy slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to score his first goal of the day and number 15 of the 2022/23 season.

Just two minutes later, Ethan Harrison found himself on the offensive and, after a knock on, managed to find Goodman unmarked in the box as the striker placed home with the goal at his mercy to get his 16th goal of the season and the comeback looked to have been completed with seven minutes left to play.

Ethan Harrison cleared a shot off the line in the 86th minute, but with just a minute left on the clock, Rovers’ defensive efforts would be undone when the backline failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to O’Boyle to slot beyond Oram and snatch a point at the death.

Rovers U18s will now look to build on their battling display in training as Frank Sinclair’s side prepare for more EFL Youth Alliance League action against Mansfield Town at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday, January 28.

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