Rovers U18s are now 10 games into their 2022/23 Youth Alliance League campaign and are sat in fifth place with two cup competitions still to play for, so ahead of their return to action this month, here’s a recap of the first half of the season.
ROVERS U18s 5 HARTLEPOOL U18s 1
Rovers were forced to sit out matchday one of the new season after the fixture release saw them given a free weekend due to an odd number of teams competing in this year’s league, but it didn’t stop them from hitting the ground running when they eventually got round to their first game.
The youth team hosted Hartlepool United at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre and, having missed a week, they were eager to get going and showed that by netting twice in the first four minutes through Ethan Harrison and Will Green.
Jack Goodman then got on the scoresheet before the break before adding another in the second half, only for Green to net Rovers’ fifth goal. Hartlepool then converted a late penalty to get a consolation but the damage was done as the hosts executed a near perfect first day of the season with a 5-1 win.
ROVERS U18s 1 BLACKPOOL U18s 0
After a great start to the new season, Rovers entered their first cup competition as they hosted Blackpool in the EFL Youth Alliance League Cup.
Jake Oram kept out a top-right destined shot early on in the game before Alex Fletcher saw a shot rise just over the crossbar in the first half before a closely contested game played out and looked bound to end in a stalemate.
That was until, for the second week running, Max Adamson came on as a substitute and made his mark as he snatched the ball, after confusion at the back, to place into an empty net and give Rovers a late winner to sit top of their group after the first game.
ROTHERHAM U18s 1 ROVERS U18s 1
The last weekend of the month saw the youth team on their travels for the first time this season, albeit a short trip to South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United.
Early on in the first 45 minutes, Ethan Harrison turned home his second goal of the year to give his side the lead in the derby but his matchday would then be cut short, been forced off through injury and ruled out for the remainder of the opening half of the season.
The Millers would then go on to equalise before the break and that’s how the game finished after a battle for the majority as Rovers made it through the first month of the season unbeaten.
RECORD SO FAR: Played three, won two, drawn one, lost none.
TOP SCORERS: Jack Goodman, Will Green and Ethan Harrison (two).