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Academy

REPORT | Leeds U18s 2 Rovers U18s 2

24 July 2023

Academy

REPORT | Leeds U18s 2 Rovers U18s 2

24 July 2023

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Rovers U18s came from two goals behind against Yorkshire rivals Leeds United as they took a draw in their third pre-season test at Thorp Arch.

The hosts were two goals to the good just after the half hour mark but the first goals of pre-season for both Justin Bennett and Kasper Williams did enough to see the game end all square.

The result saw a strong response to Tuesday’s defeat against Chesterfield as Frank Sinclair’s side more than matched their category one opposition.

Rovers started brightly and had the chance to go ahead in the game but when Jaiden Campbell-Ryce met the visitor's first corner, he just couldn’t direct it on target and the chance went begging.

However, the next 15 minutes saw Rovers on the back foot at times as United ramped up their attacking pressure and found opportunities.

First Jacob Bacon made a brilliantly timed tackle to dispossess an attacker and then just after a quarter of an hour Jake Oram reacted well to tip a fired free kick over the bar.

The pressure kept on coming though and Will Green was in the right place at the right time to stand in the way of what would’ve been a certain goal and then Oram was forced to save again.

The youth team’s superb defensive work would however be undone just after the half hour mark.

On the 33rd minute, The Peacocks came forward on the right, fizzed a cross in and an attacker jumped highest at the near post to nod in and give the hosts the lead.

From the restart Rovers set about getting back on level terms, but in the very next minute Leeds crossed in from the right-hand side and

this time an attacker rose at the far post to head beyond Oram - leaving Rovers suddenly trailing by two in the space of two minutes.

The visitors had a right to feel aggrieved having defended so well up until that point, but it only gave the side more drive to get back into the game – and that’s what they did.

On minute 37, Rovers found success down the left wing with Freddie Allen crossing towards Max Adamson, but the striker was blocked from getting a shot away so Bennett rushed in and smashed the ball into the back of the net to half the deficit.

The youngsters then almost got on level terms before the break but Adamson’s drilled shot was put just wide of the mark and the visitors went into the interval a goal behind.

At the start of the second half, Sinclair made his first changes – bringing on Kasper Williams and Kenneth Imariagbe in place of Bacon and Harry Wood.

With 25 minutes to play, more alterations to Rovers’ side were made when Campbell-Ryce and Oram made way for Jamie Tomlinson and Jacob Bryant respectively, and the sub keeper was immediately called into action to prevent a chipped shot.

The hosts then hit the post but the ball was cleared and Deshaun Musgrave replaced Max Adamson with 15 to go.

The youth team stood tall to The Whites pressure and then eventually, the tide changed.

Musgrave had the chance to immediately make an impact off the bench as Rovers came forward on the counter and presented the U16 with a golden opportunity, but his shot was put straight at the Leeds stopper.

In the 84th minute however, the visitors got what they were looking for.

Set piece specialist Will Green swung a great corner right underneath the crossbar and substitute Williams was there, ready and waiting to thump the ball home with his head – putting Rovers back on level terms in the process.

Both sides then had a chance to win it late on as the hosts had an effort cleared off the line and Imariagbe had a shot saved down low but the game finished all square in Wetherby.

Rovers U18s will now look to build on their strong showing as they take on another quick turnaround to face Club Thorne Colliery at the Iqbal Poultry Stadium on Tuesday, July 25 (7.30pm kick off).


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