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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

2-7
05 September 2020 Venue Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

Preston North End
2 - 7
Blackburn Rovers

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Match Reports

A magnificent seven!

Charlie Weston hit a hat-trick and Brandon Lonsdale bagged a brace in an impressive display and victory for Rovers Under-18s against Preston North End

8 September 2020

Rovers Under-18s continued their unbeaten pre-season with an emphatic win against Lancashire rivals Preston North End.

After going 1-0 up through Jared Harlock's strike, Preston hit back and turned the score around to go 2-1 ahead.

Mike Sheron's side, who have found goals easy to come by in pre-season, got themselves level before half time thanks to Brandon Lonsdale's effort after fine pressing by Harlock, Zak Gilsenan and Harrison Wood.

The second half saw Rovers run riot, with Charlie Weston bagging his first two goals before Lonsdale completed his brace with Rovers' fifth of the day.

The returning Alex Baker made it a super six from the penalty spot before Weston completed his hat-trick with the goal of the game.

The midfielder picked the ball up on the edge of the box before unleashing a rocket that flew into the top corner of the net.

"It was a bit of a battle in the first half, as you'd expect when you go in at half time with the score at 2-2," Sheron reflected.

"I'm so pleased with how we dealt with the second half and it was very encouraging from the lads.

"Charlie Weston getting the hat-trick was great, we pushed him forward into the number 10 role, which isn't something he's completely used to.

"But he was outstanding in what was a new position for him.

"I was really pleased with how clinical we were, hopefully we can save one or two of the goals for the weekend when the season begins for real at Everton.

"We have one more friendly to go before then and it might be an opportunity to get some minutes into the legs for a few of the lads.

"We've shown real improvement in every game we've played in pre-season and it's important to make sure we keep doing that, keep improving and development."

As well as the thumping victory, there were more positives for Rovers, with Baker returning from injury after a 16 month lay-off.

And Sheron was thrilled that the youngster could celebrate his comeback with a goal in the rout.

"Alex has been out for such a long time and I think that was the biggest positive of the day for me.

"We've seen him work so hard over the years and then lockdown got in the way for him just as he was going to make his return.

"But he got some minutes, got a goal and we're all absolutely delighted for him. I'm sure the frustration that he's had over the last 16 month will come out, and it's just great to be working with him again.

Rovers: Dowling, Montgomery, Cirino, Wyatt (Pratt, 70), Gamble, Harlock (c), Weston, Gilsenan (Pleavin, 46), Wood (Baker, 70), Lonsdale, Fyles (Cunningham, 46).

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