Rovers U18s fell to defeat on the road as they were beaten by Notts County in the EFL Youth Alliance League on the Clifton FSM 3G.
Second-year scholar Will Green scored from the penalty spot in the first half but a hat-trick from Lewis Greenfield, a Charlie Gill finish and an own goal gave the hosts victory.
The game saw the youth team reach the halfway point in their campaign and despite the loss are still just five points behind the placings for the championship merit league.
Rovers had early defensive work to do in Nottinghamshire and Jacob Bryant was called into action almost immediately as he tipped the ball away from a dangerous cross and then had to save a follow up shot moments later from the edge of the box.
The visitors then tried to get a foothold in the game and force the breakthrough but chances were a rarity for both sides and neither tested the keeper for an extended spell.
That was until the 20th minute when the Magpies were afforded a freekick just inside the Rovers half.
The hosts sprayed the ball out left and then worked back inside to play between the defence and left Greenfield to connect beautifully with a half-volley that nestled into the top left corner for the lead.
It would get worse for Rovers though before they had ideas of striking an equaliser.
Another freekick just inside the Rovers half was worked out left and swung in where Gill was free to flick on at the near post and double the Magpies lead on the half hour mark.
Just minutes later though Rovers had a chance to half the deficit as Kenneth Imariagbe turned his man in and out before been blocked off inside the box and a penalty was awarded.
Green stepped up, sent the keeper to the left and rolled the ball to the right to see Rovers just the one goal behind at the break.
At the start of the second half Charlie Thompson had a chance to get Rovers back level with a free header at the back stick but it could only be directed into the keeper’s hands.
Another chance each came but both were saved within minutes of each other before the hosts managed to find the next goal on the hour mark.
A County shot from the right was saved by Bryant down low but it rebounded nicely for Greenfield to head home from a matter of yards.
Just two minutes later Greenfield was in again after a Magpies swarm raced forward and the striker peeled off to find himself with the easiest of finishes to make it 4-1 from close range again.
Kenzie Dillon and Green both then had efforts from the edge of the box stray just off target as Rovers looked for a route back into the game but they were the visitors’ last efforts of match.
There would still be enough time for a County fifth though as Kasper Williams attempted to pass back to Bryant but it veered off course with too much power and nestled in the bottom left corner.
Rovers U18s will look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat next time out as they welcome Lincoln City to the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday, January 20.