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Reserves beat the Baggies

Posted: Mon 22 Oct 2012
Author: rovers.co.uk
Osayamen Osawe

Osayamen Osawe

Image by: rovers.co.uk

Rovers u21s 2-0 West Bromwich Albion u21.

Rovers' Under-21s picked up their first home win of the season with a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Leigh Sports Village.

Second half goals from Osayamen Osawe and substitute Curtis Haley gave Gary Bowyer's side a deserved three points in a match they dominated.

The scoreline could have been more in Rovers favour, but a strong display at the back allied by some inventive attacking play saw them claim the win.


Looking to get back to winning ways after last week's loss to West Ham, Rovers were quick out of the blocks.

Just seven minutes in and a superb cross-field pass from John O'Sullivan split the Albion defence allowing Osayamen Osawe to race through from the inside left channel he fired the ball across the six-yard box but Josh Morris couldn't take advantage and miscued his effort.

Thirty seconds later and Rovers threatened once more, this time through Raheem Hanley as the space opened up for the full back but goalkeeper Shane Lewis made a smart save.

Rovers' neat and tidy approach saw them continue to force the pace, three corners in succession added to the home side's pressure but West Brom held firm as Osawe headed wide at the back post.

As the half wore on it was the visitors who grew in confidence, Grzegorz Sandomierski called into action for the first time on 22 minutes as he raced off his line to narrow the angle as Romaine Sawyers advanced, the Polish international blocking the shot with his legs.

Moments later the loan signing had to be alert as Baggies' captain George Thorne let fly with a low shot from distance, Sandomierski down well to his left to save.

Then as Rovers failed to clear their lines midfielder Sam Mantom struck from distance but his shot was straight at Sandomierski.

Rovers responded and a curling effort from Osayamen Osawe almost caught out Shane Lewis, the Rovers wide-man shooting from the corner of the penalty area but the ball flew a yard over the bar.

A nasty clash of heads disrupted play towards the end of the first half. As Liam O'Neil went to head a ball clear he only succeeded in catching the back of John O'Sullivan's head. Both players went down immediately requiring treatment from their respective physios. After a five minute delay both players were thankfully back up on their feet but O'Sullivan was unable to continue to be replaced Robbie Cotton.

Less than five minutes into the second half and Rovers were celebrating their first home goal of the season.

It was a classic quick-fire attack as Hugo Fernandez found Osayamen Osawe with a through ball, the forward advanced before cutting inside onto his right foot and he fired low through Lewis.

Moments later Osawe tried a repeat move as he skipped expertly past two challenges but Donervon Daniels did well with a timely tackle. 

Then it was Raheem Hanley's turn to impress down the same flank, firing the ball across the area to where Fernandez back-heeled into the path of Jamie Maclaren, the Australian slammed the ball goalwards but Lewis saved well.

Rovers continued to press for that second goal, taking Albion apart down the left, the fleet-footed Osawe leaving defenders in his wake but this time he could only find the side-netting.

Gary Bowyer's side continued to push, Jamie Maclaren wasting a great opportunity when he found space from a Josh Morris corner, but the forward headed wide of goal. Then as Hugo Fernandez found Osawe out wide the ball was fired back into the area towards the Spaniard but despite his best efforts he couldn't connect with an outstretched boot.

When the two sides met earlier in the season West Brom pegged Rovers back on two occasions but opportunities for the visitors were few and far between in the second half. George Thorne seeing a near post shot blocked by Kellen Daly, before substitute Alex Jones missed a floated ball into the box.

The last action of the game belonged to Curtis Haley. The striker, introduced on 90 minutes, wasted little time in making his mark, winning the ball in the centre of midfield he took it to the right before exchanging passes with Fernandes to lash home into the far corner of the game for his first Reserve goal of the season.

So a welcome first home win of the campaign for the Under-21s, next up at Leigh Sports Village is Arsenal in seven days time.

ROVERS: Sandomierski, Daly, R. Hanley, Paulo Jorge, O'Connell (c), Wylie, Osawe, O'Sullivan (sub Cotton 41 mins), Maclaren (sub Haley 90 mins), Fernandez, Morris.

Subs not used: Payne, Dilo, Beesley.

Goals: Osawe 50 mins, Haley 90 mins.

Booked: None.

WEST BROM: Lewis, O'Neil (sub Atkinson 59 mins), Garmston, Thorne (c), Daniels, Gayle, Brown (sub Birch 81 mins), Mantom, Sawyers, Nabi, O'Sullivan (sub Jones 70 mins).

Subs not used: Palmer, Pace.

Goals: None

Booked: O'Sullivan, Thorne.

Attendance: