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REPORT | Rovers U17s 1 Lincoln U17s 3 (Floodlit Cup)

6 September 2023


REPORT | Rovers U17s 1 Lincoln U17s 3 (Floodlit Cup)

6 September 2023

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Rovers U17s fell to an opening day defeat in the EFL U17s Floodlit Cup as they were beaten by reigning champions Lincoln City on the Eco-Power Stadium 3G pitch.

First-year scholar Kenneth Imariagbe gave the youth team the lead after 33 minutes but three second half goals for the Imps gave the visitors the three points.

The result sees Rovers in fifth place in their group with three games under the lights still to be played.

The opening exchanges in South Yorkshire saw a competitive affair play out but with little chances at either end of the pitch, the search for dominance would go on for the first quarter of an hour.

That was when the visitors first tested Harry Gardham in Rovers’ goal but the stopper did well to first palm away a goal bound cross and then expertly position himself to block the following shot.

Those half-chances were enough to set the hosts into gear and within minutes they had a chance of their own as Jaiden Campbell-Ryce released Deshaun Musgrave-Dore in on goal but his shot was held at the near post.

Imariagbe was the next to try his luck with a near post shot from the right hand side in the very next attack but it was just misjudged and put to the wrong side of the woodwork.

On 33 minutes however, Imariagbe would make no mistake.

He raced onto a ball from the middle of the park, looked up and fired from range to put beyond the keeper and into the back of the net to take the lead.

Closing in on the interval Musgrave-Dore had another effort saved from close range before a Lincoln defender kicked the ball onto his own post but the danger was eventually cleared and Rovers went into the break with just the one goal advantage.

At the start of the second-half Imariagbe made way for Rhomani Murray but it was the Imps attack that got the next success.

A winger cut inside from the right hand side and picked out the bottom left corner with a great effort to restore parity once again after 49 minutes.

Immediately from the restart Rovers looked to have had the lead again but an almighty goalmouth scramble took place and Lincoln managed to clear their lines.

Skipper for the evening Jacob Bacon and Mo Patel then made way for Finn Shone and Noah Ratcliffe but it would then take another 20 minutes for a real chance to come around for either side.

However in the 79th minute Lincoln picked the ball up in midfield, worked their way forward and rolled it past Gardham to take the lead late on.

Rovers then desperately looked to find an equaliser but thanks to a lengthy stoppage for an injury late on, the Imps extended their lead with a spectacular effort into the top left corner in the 112th minute.

The youth team then looked for a late consolation but the referee called for full time almost straight after the restart and the visitors took the three points away from the Eco-Power Stadium.

Rovers U17s are next in EFL U17s Floodlit Cup action on Wednesday, September 20 as they make the trip to Nottinghamshire for a tie with Mansfield Town.

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