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REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Chesterfield U18s 4 (friendly)

19 July 2023


REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Chesterfield U18s 4 (friendly)

19 July 2023

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Rovers U18s fell to defeat in their second pre-season game as they were beaten by Chesterfield at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre.

First-year scholars Kenzie Dillon, Jacob Bacon and Jamie Tomlinson all got on the scoresheet for the host but the Spireites came from behind late on to take victory.

The game was the first of two in five days for the youth team, with Frank Sinclair’s side having the chance to immediately bounce back at Leeds United on Saturday.

Rovers started brightly and found their first chance just three minutes in when great work from Kenneth Imariagbe gave Tomlinson the opportunity to shoot from range, but the shot was high and wide.

15 minutes later. the visitors got their first sight of goal but skipper Will Flint made sure he was in the way to block before Tomlinson had another chance at the other end – but the result was the same.

Sam Brown had a chance from range as he put his effort straight at the keeper but the Rovers breakthrough didn’t come till the final five minutes of the half.

The hosts worked the ball well on the left hand side, made their way into the box and the ball bounced for Dillon to smash into the top left corner, leaving the keeper with no chance and putting his side ahead.

Sinclair’s side then had a chance to double their lead just before the break but Harry Wood’s effort was saved and the youth went into the interval with just the one goal advantage.

At the start of the second half, Harry Wood and Will Flint made way for Max Adamson and Jacob Bacon respectively but it was the visitors who had the first chance after the restart – putting it just wide.

Jacob Bryant was then called into action but at the other end, Will Green’s great cross was just misjudged by Tomlinson and headed over before Rovers doubled their lead on the 56th minute.

Striker Adamson did brilliantly to get in front of the keeper from a cross and nodded back into the goalmouth where Bacon was ready and waiting to prod home and give the hosts daylight.

From the restart, the visitors managed to win a free kick and despite the wall being set up well, the midfielder picked out the bottom left corner to half the deficit.

Justin Bennett, Jake Oram and Oliver Piekarski then came on for Dillon, Bryant and Chris Pooley respectively but the Spireites got back on level terms with just under half an hour to go.

The visitors swung a corner towards the back post and, despite an initial block, an attacker converted to restore parity in the game.

Imariagbe then had an effort from long range clear the crossbar but on the 72nd minute, Rovers got back in front.

Bennett intercepted well on the edge of the box, tried to place into the bottom right keeper but the keeper parried his save straight into the path of Tomlinson and he was the one to turn home.

Oram then entered the book four minutes later for a foul outside the box and Chesterfield’s midfielder picked out the top left corner to equalise once again.

The worst was yet to come though as the visitors got fortunate with a deflected cross and the ball fell to an attacker who was able to stab home from close range for what turned out to be the game’s winning goal.

Rovers U18s will now look to regroup quickly as they prepare for the challenge of Leeds United at Thorp Arch on Saturday, July 22.

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