Norwich City 3 Rovers 1
Rovers Reserves had a disappointing start to life in the new Barclays under 21 Premier League after losing 3-1 away to Norwich City on Monday.
Gary Bowyer's young side started well enough, taking the lead after 15 minutes when following good play between Raheem Hanley, Jamie Maclaren and John O'Sullivan the ball was played through for Hanley to score after Rudd had saved his first attempt.
But two goals in seven first half minutes knocked the wind out of Rovers' sails and they never recovered. The equaliser coming on 21 minutes after O'Sullivan gave the ball away cheaply and Jamar Loza netted.
On 28 minutes the home side had turned the match around, again it was due to a defensive error when after a hopeful long ball forward Peter Wylie headed into the path of Loza and the Norwich frontman made no mistake.
Loza would complete his hat-trick just before the hour mark, again runners weren't tracked and as the cross came in the ball was scrambled home.
Rovers had two good chances to get back into the game after that. Jamie Maclaren wasting a great chance when a Will Beesley free-kick fell to the attacker in front of goal. Then Osayamen Osawe was similarly wasteful after a long-throw fell to him six yards out but he blazed over the bar.
Speaking after the game, coach Gary Bowyer said: "I was really pleased with how we played in the first 20 minutes, we were passing the ball around well and moving well and scored a really good goal.
"But we gave away two sloppy goals and that really affected our play.
"Darragh Lenihan and Raheem Hanley had a good battle in the centre of midfield with David Fox and Corey Smith so that will help them.
"Overall I'm disappointed with the goals we conceded, we've got a bit of work to do, it was a reality check for some of them."
The development squad are back in action this Saturday when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates. Kick-off is 2.00pm.
ROVERS: Urwin, Wylie, Beesley, Lenihan (sub Brown 70 mins), O'Connell (c), Mason, Evans, R. Hanley, Maclaren (sub Haley 70 mins), O'Sullivan, Osawe.
Subs not used: Fernandez, Dilo, Thompson.