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Rovers triumph over Royals

26 November 2012

Rovers Under-21s 2-0 Reading Under-21s

Rovers' Under-21s made it a welcome league double over Reading this season with a 2-0 win at Leigh Sports Village.

Gary Bowyer's side dominated the match for long periods, but it was only in the second half that they notched the goals that their play deserved.

Raheem Hanley opened his scoring after a quick free-kick on 52 minutes and then turned provider half an hour later as Osayamen Osawe swept home to secure all three points for Rovers.

On a chilly evening at Leigh it was Rovers who started the stronger of the two sides. After just five minutes Osayamen Osawe stole in at the back post to meet an inswinging cross from Peter Wylie, but the Rovers striker headed across goal and wide.

A minute later it was left back Will Beesley's turn to shoot goalwards. Afforded plenty of space, the full back charged towards the opposition area but fired over the bar.

It wasn't until the 21st minute that the visitors threatened, Jordan Obita with a clever near post free kick that almost caught out Grzegorz Sandomierski but the giant Pole was alert to readjust to save.

On 24 Wylie delivered a carbon-copy ball for Osawe once more but again the striker headed wide, but that miss wasn't as bad as his 28th effort, when following Kellen Daly's pass Osawe lashed horribly over from ten yards.

As the half edged towards it's conclusion the Royals came more into the game with three chances in quick succession.

The lively Obita hit a fierce free-kick into the Rovers box that Will Beesley had to head away from inside his six-yard box, before Aaron Tshibola saw an equally vicious strike pushed aside by Sandomierski.

The last action of the half saw Obita threaten once more, the England youth international firing a yard wide of the far post with a low left-footed effort.

Rovers started the second half with the same desire they had shown in the first and it didn't take them long to get their reward.

Osayamen Osawe had threatened early with a shot across the bows, but it was John O'Sullivan's 50th minute ball that set Micah Evans on the chase. The forward appeared to be taken down just inside the area by last man Pierce Sweeney.

After consideration the referee awarded Rovers a free-kick right on the corner of the box, Sweeney perhaps fortunate to receive just a yellow card.

Thankfully it didn't matter as Rovers took the free-kick quickly, John O'Sullivan passing to Raheem Hanley who advanced along the edge of the area before curling the ball into the bottom corner of the net for his second goal of the season.

The Rovers midfielder should have had his second of the game on 59 minutes when following a slip from Niall Keown Hanley stole the ball, but Reading 'keeper Dan Lincoln saved his effort.

Reading responded by throwing on hat-trick duo from the Under 18s match at the weekend, Craig Tanner and Uche Ikpeazu, but it was Rovers who continued with their forward momentum.

Kellen Daly headed over a Tim Payne corner whilst a through ball from the New Zealander set Osawe clear, but in choosing to take his shot early it allowed Lincoln to deflect it wide.

Again that miss didn't matter as Rovers would grab a deserved second moments later, it was goalscorer Raheem Hanley who turned provider this time with a ball inside that Osayamen Osawe swept into the bottom corner of the goals.

Rovers could have earned further goals as they ended the match strongly. Hanley seeing another shot saved before substitutes Danny Laverty and Jamie Maclaren combined well but Maclaren fired over the bar.

"I thought it was a very tough game," said development coach Gary Bowyer.

"I thought the game was played at a high intensity from both sides and I thought we got the breakthrough with a fantastic strike and then showed good character to go on and keep a clean sheet and then we got the second.

"I was impressed with our attitude and desire tonight, their character and the way they went about it. They played proper football at time."

ROVERS: Sandomierski, Wylie, Beesley, Paulo Jorge (sub Hands 85 mins), M. Anderson, Daly, O'Sullivan, Payne, Evans, R. Hanley (sub Laverty 89 mins), Osawe (sub Maclaren 87 mins).

Subs not used: Urwin, Haley.

Goals: R. Hanley 52 mins, Osawe 82 mins.

Booked: Paulo Jorge.

READING: Lincoln, Arnold, Griffin (sub Long 85 mins), Webb, Keown, Sweeney, Edwards, Tshibola (sub Ikpeazu 70 mins), Samuel, Losasso (sub Tanner 61 mins), Obita.

Subs not used: Henley.

Goals: None.

Booked: Sweeney.

Attendance: 158

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