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Sinclair: U18s were rusty against Mansfield

9 January 2024


Sinclair: U18s were rusty against Mansfield

9 January 2024

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Professional development phase lead Frank Sinclair was pleased by the standards shown by his side despite falling to a narrow defeat against Mansfield Town.

Rovers U18s were denied of a penalty in the first half and had a stoppage time goal disallowed as McKeal Abdullah’s strike secured a Mansfield three points.

The youth team manager felt the levels shown by his side could have warranted a different result on another day.

Sinclair said: “We seemed to be a bit rusty, but to give Mansfield credit they pressed us well and made it difficult for us to play out from the back.

“Like the previous fixture, it was a good game between two good sides. Both gave it a good go but we made a mistake and got punished for it.

“There isn’t much between the two teams though and I think that’s a credit to us because Mansfield have always been a strong opponent at this level."

Despite the loss, the match saw an U18s debut for 15-year-old Franklin Middleton and Sinclair was pleased with the impression the youngster made.

He added: “One of the real positives was Franklin making his debut for the U18s.

“He’s only just come back from injury himself but we’re pleased with how he coped in the game and we’re really excited about what’s to come for him.

“Like a few of our lads have already done this season, Franklin stepped up and made a real difference. A number of our U16s have done it now but for me that’s the natural progression for them."

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