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Punished for our mistakes

8 December 2014

Under-18s coach Brian Carey was left to rue sloppy starts to both halves as Rovers crashed out of the FA Youth Cup at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Monday evening.

Rovers went a goal down inside two minutes at Victoria Park as Ismail Assaoui gave the home side the lead, and although they quickly drew level thanks to top scorer Sam Joel, Spurs captain Joshua Onomah ensured it would be they who would lead at the break.

But a disastrous restart saw Assaoui score from the kick-off before the Belgium youngster completed his hat-trick five minutes from time to knock Rovers out at the third round stage.

"It is something we talk about but it has cost us dearly tonight against a good Tottenham side," said Carey.

"They didn't need that, they didn't need our help, and we certainly helped them with the two goals that they scored at crucial times in the game - the start of the first half and the start of the second half.

"We responded really well to going a goal down and that is the pleasing side to it as that recovery hasn't been as evident as it was tonight.

"I thought we shaded it and could even have got a second after getting it back to one-each.

"I thought we had a decent go against them, I thought 4-1 was a little harsh."

Rovers had a stronger than usual Under-18 side on view at Dagenham and Carey felt that it showed with some of their play that they are learning all the time which will hopefully stand them in good stead.

"The lads are gathering a lot of experience with some of these playing a lot of Under-21 games," added the coach. "They've had a go, and we can't ask for any more than that.

"They stuck to their task, at 3-1 we had a lot of pressure and put them on the back foot, but as I said to the lads, if you make mistakes at this level you will get punished and that is exactly what has happened.

"The important thing is the lads learn from what has happened and do their jobs to the best of their ability.

"It has been a good experience for some of the lads tonight, it will stand them all in good stead."

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