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REPORT | Bradford U18s 1 Rovers U18s 1

2 May 2023


REPORT | Bradford U18s 1 Rovers U18s 1

2 May 2023

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Rovers U18s were pegged back to draw in the EFL Youth Alliance League as the points were shared with Bradford City at the Horsfall Community Stadium.

Max Adamson gave the youth team the lead from a corner on the stroke of half time before second half substitute Harry Ibbitson equalised for the Bantams.

The result took Rovers up to 41 points in the Youth Alliance League and confirmed next week’s opponents, Harrogate Town as champions for the 2022/23 season.

The hosts got proceedings underway in West Yorkshire but it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the early chances.

Harry Wood saw the ball snatched from his feet just as he was about to shoot in the opening exchanges before Alex Fletcher went on a marauding run to leave defenders in his rear view mirrors, only to see his left footed effort fail to meet the target.

On the 12th minute, the home side saw their first chance arise from the edge of the box but the attacker dragged the ball wide of the left hand post.

From that moment on, play opened up and the end-to-end nature of the game saw chances for each side, but the next big one came to the Bantams and forced Jake Oram to brilliantly jump at the feet of the forward on the left to bat the ball away from danger.

The reigning champions then had another couple of chances wasted before Bradford’s left back became the first player to enter the referee’s book for a late challenge on Wood.

The half then looked to be coming to a goalless end, but Rovers had other ideas.

Will Green put a peach of a corner into the goalmouth for striker Adamson to attack, jump highest and nod in to break the deadlock and see the youngsters’ pressure rewarded with the lead at the interval.

Faris Khan then resumed play for the second half and both teams immediately tried to find a route for what would surely be a match defining next goal.

Five minutes after play had restarted, Bradford were given the perfect opportunity to equalise as Jay Tinsdale peeled off at the back post and was afforded plenty of time to volley at goal, but he couldn’t find the target and the chance was wasted.

Let off with a warning, Frank Sinclair turned to the bench for the first time in the game and introduced U16 Sam Brown in place of Tom Parkinson to offer a different outlet on the front foot.

On the 68th minute, Adamson was shown the yellow card for an accumulation of fouls and the hosts then found their way to goal just four minutes on.

In similar fashion to Rovers’ opener, Bradford swung in a dangerous cross and Ibbitson climbed higher than the defence to turn home and restore parity with just over quarter of an hour to play.

Sinclair then immediately brought on Kasper Williams, with a change of system, for Harry Wood as the youth team tried to find a way to get back in front.

On 79 minutes however, it looked like the worst had happened as Isaac Robinson tucked home but the whistle had already sounded and play was brought back for a collision involving the referee that left the official needing treatment.

Green then nearly found his tenth goal of the season with a darting run but his shot was saved low and left the scoreline level.

The game still however required Oram to produce another piece of brilliance as the hosts broke in on goal but Rovers’ shot stopper was able to use his feet and clear the danger once again to see the game end in a draw.

The youth team face one final challenge for the season as Frank Sinclair’s side hit the road one more time to face off with new champions Harrogate Town on Friday May 5.

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