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Academy

REPORT | Hartlepool U18s 0 Rovers U18s 1

1 March 2023

Academy

REPORT | Hartlepool U18s 0 Rovers U18s 1

1 March 2023

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Rovers U18s made it four consecutive EFL Youth Alliance League wins on Tuesday as they took victory in the North East against Hartlepool United.

Talisman Jack Goodman notched his 20th success of the season for the game’s only goal and that proved to be enough to take the three points, despite Rovers having numerous chances to further their lead throughout the game.

The youth team’s win over the Pools saw them move up to third place in the Youth Alliance League and also close the gap at the top to just four points.

Returning to the starting line-up, Josh Lindley got proceedings underway and Rovers quickly got into their rhythm, dominating possession and showing their creativity early on.

Inside the first 10 minutes, Goodman almost turned into a provider after making a run down the left and then trying to square to Will Green in the goalmouth, but the Hartlepool keeper got out well and pounced on the ball to hold it.

Continuing on the front foot, Alex Fletcher picked out Goodman on the 16th minute only to see the striker’s shot blocked and then Faris Khan’s follow up over the crossbar as the game somehow remained goalless.

Rovers would however only have to wait a few more minutes to find their breakthrough.

20 minutes in, Owen Scattergood went on a great run down the left hand side before cutting in and as the defence tried to clear the danger, their clearance fell straight at the feet of Goodman, leaving him to smartly tuck the ball away into the bottom left corner and give his side a well-deserved lead.

With the wind now in their sails, Rovers continued to attack the opposition goal as Goodman almost doubled his tally for the day before Khan and Green both had long range efforts saved as Frank Sinclair’s side went into the break one goal to the good.

At the start of the second half, there was an opening substitution for the youth team as Charlie Petch returned to action for the first time since early January after injury - replacing Owen Scattergood.

On the pitch, Khan had a free kick held after getting the ball on target early on before Goodman broke the backline again on the hour mark and tried to drill an effort across goal only to see Hartlepool’s number one get down well and make the save.

A battle in the middle of the park then opened up but with the hosts creating very little from it, the visitors saw more and more chances come and go.

In the pursuit of a second goal, Sinclair then made changes to his midfield with Green and Khan making way for Harry Wood and Tom Parkinson respectively heading into the final 20 minutes of the game.

Into the last quarter of an hour in the North East, Fletcher made a marauding run down the right flank, cut inside and took a number of defenders on before finally getting his shot off from the edge of the box, but his left footed effort rose over the crossbar and cleared the wall behind the goal.

Hartlepool then got a late free kick with six minutes to play and as their attacker looked to have smashed their first real chance of the game into the back of the net, U16 ‘keeper Jacob Bryant pulled off a brilliant diving save to claw the ball out of the top corner and turn it behind for a corner.

The hosts threw everything at the Rovers backline but they stood tall and composed to keep their clean sheet intact and claim another big three points in their search for success.

The youth team will now look to take on another short turn around as they prepare for the challenge of Mansfield Town in the EFL Youth Alliance League at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday, March 4


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