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REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Notts County U18s 0 (pre-season friendly)

30 July 2023


REPORT | Rovers U18s 3 Notts County U18s 0 (pre-season friendly)

30 July 2023

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Rovers U18s rounded out their 2023 pre-season programme with victory after seeing off league counterparts Notts County at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre.

Max Adamson opened the scoring early on before Will Green and Kenneth Imariagbe added second half successes to see the youth team head into their league campaign with back-to-back wins.

Rovers got off to a bright start at Cantley Park as Jaiden Campbell-Ryce set up Sam Brown for the first shot of the game, but the keeper to get down well and saved – though it didn’t take long for the ball to end up in the back of the net.

In the ninth minute of the game, Green played a great long ball for Chris Pooley to pick up and take inside the box before offloading to Max Adamson who beat his marker and powerfully drilled into the bottom left corner to open the scoring.

In the very next attack, the striker almost doubled his tally for the day when he met a cross at the near post, but the Magpies’ stopper reacted well at point-blank range to get in the way.

The game then briefly calmed down but another 10 minutes on, Adamson almost pulled off a spectacular move as he brought down a high ball, turned round his defender and attempted to curl into the bottom right corner – but another palm away from the goalkeeper denied him.

Campbell-Ryce and Green then both tried their luck from range to no avail before Rovers were forced into their first change on 39 minutes as Adamson made way for Imariagbe with precaution to injury.

The hosts then carried on their search for a further advantage but the interval came and the single goal was the difference.

With the start of the second half came a golden patch for Rovers’ youngsters and they made it count two minutes in.

Having played a part in the opener, Green found himself at the centre of the action as he anticipated the last man’s movements expertly to come from behind, snatch the ball, take it around the keeper and slot into the empty net to give his side a second – and there was more to come.

In similar fashion to Green, Imariagbe put pressure on the final defender, forced the mistake and left his man on the floor before carrying on and calmly slotting between the County keeper’s legs to suddenly find Rovers three goals to the good with 49 minutes on the clock.

Imariagbe then showed impressive footwork to carry the ball along the byline from the corner flag to within six yards of goal but he was intercepted at the last to deny the forward.

Jake Oram was then called to get in the way of a first, relatively tame effort from the visitors as Sinclair made his first changes with just under 15 minutes to go.

Brown, Green and Kasper Williams made way for Kenzie Dillon, Jamie Tomlinson and Jacob Bacon respectively, and one of the changes almost made an immediate impact.

Tomlinson took a shot on from the right first time and beautifully curled it beyond County’s number one to nestle in the bottom left corner, but the wingers luck was out and the referee had already pulled play back for a foul on Imariagbe – disallowing the goal.

Imariagbe then entered the referee’s book for a foul of his own and Notts County had another shot from range dragged wide but Rovers had already done the damage needed and the youth team took a thoroughly professional victory.

Rovers U18s will now look to build on pre-season as they prepare for the first game of the EFL Youth Alliance League season against Scunthorpe United at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre, on Saturday, August 5.

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