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Club News

Man City u18s 2 Rovers u18s 2

2 December 2014

Rovers Under-18s showed excellent battling qualities to earn a share of the points away at Manchester City on Saturday.

It was the first match played at the new Etihad Campus, but the young Rovers weren't overawed by the impressive surroundings as they twice came from behind thanks to goals from Lewis Hardcastle and Sam Joel in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Rovers were slow starters and fell behind after just four minutes. Isaac Buckley tapping home at the back post after they failed to deal with a corner.

The home side saw chances to stretch their advantage come and go as the hardworking Rovers went in at the break just a goal down.

The second half saw Rovers grow in confidence as they started to see more of the ball, eventually drawing level on 70 minutes courtesy of a free-kick routine.

Hardcastle sent the ball into the area and as the Rovers attackers closed in, the City defence was distracted enough for the ball to nestle into the back of the net.

With their tails up Rovers sensed the chance to get a second goal, however it was the hosts who turned that to their advantage by hitting them on the break to regain the lead 13 minutes from time. Buckley getting his second of the game at the second attempt after Andrew Fisher had saved his first effort.

The previous two league outings for the Under-18s had seen Rovers come from behind to earn a draw and with just four minutes remaining it would be the case once more.

Excellent work by Josh Askew down the left saw Remy Howarth find Adrian Edo, the midfielder's effort was saved but Sam Joel was on hand to emphatically blast home the rebound.

"For the third game in a row the lads showed tremendous spirit to come from behind to earn a draw," said coach Brian Carey.

"We could have buckled under pressure against a talented City side, but we stuck at it and grew with confidence. I felt our efforts merited the point.

"It is a result to give us confidence going into next week's FA Youth Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur."

ROVERS: Fisher, Pirretas (sub Howarth 65 mins), Askew, Hardcastle, Platt, Edgar, Tomlinson, Edo, Mansell (sub Callaway 80 mins), Joel, Wall.

Subs not used: Mehew, Williams, Scott.

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