Rovers' U18s 2-4 Bolton U18s
Rovers Under-18s suffered a 4-2 loss to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Terry McPhillips' side had started brightly and took the lead in the 18th minute when following Tom Brown's corner, Danny Laverty hit a looping shot goalwards that bounced up and allowed Curtis Haley to nod into the back of the net.
But Rovers couldn't build on their lead and were quickly pegged back, Bolton's number six heading home well from a corner just four minutes later.
A topsy-turvy first half then saw Rovers regain the lead on 26 minutes. Danny Laverty attacking the space well on the right and his deep cross was met perfectly by the fast arriving Bradley Bauress to head into the net via a deflection for his first Academy goal.
The turning point of the match came just before the break when Rovers were reduced to ten men. Captain Tom Brown, who had been carded on the half hour for kicking the ball away, received a second yellow card for a mis-timed challenge, which meant the home side would have to play out the rest of the game a man light.
Despite leading at the break, the start to the second half couldn't have gone any worse for Rovers as they quickly found themselves 3-2 down with two goals in two minutes from the Trotters to turn the match around. The visitors taking advantage of some slack marking.
To their credit Rovers tried to look for a way back into the game, Ryan Humphreys struck the woodwork, whilst Bradley Ware went close with an overhead kick.
However on 74 minutes Bolton put clear daylight between themselves and Rovers from another set-piece as the defender powered his header home for his second of the game to clinch all three points.
"We are disappointed," said coach Terry McPhillips. "The sending off obviously affected the game, we were winning and I'd have fancied us if we'd have stuck with 11.
"But it was always going to be hard work for us, certainly after conceding two in two minutes at the start of the second half, that left us with a mountain to climb.
"I was pleased with the attitude and application that the lads showed."
ROVERS: Grant, Anderson (sub Butterwick 49 mins), Ware, Thompson, Bauress, Brown, Boland, Humphreys (sub Rittenberg 80 mins), Haley, Cotton, Laverty (sub Harris 67 mins).
Subs not used: Pero, Preston.