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Sunderland u18s 2 Rovers u18s 0

22 December 2014

Rovers' Under-18s were left to rue missed chances as they ended the first half of the season with a defeat to Sunderland on Saturday.

When the two sides met at Brockhall last month it was an exciting 4-4 draw, but on this occasion it was a much tighter affair at the Academy of Light, with the home side grabbing two late goals to clinch the victory.

Whilst the home side saw more of the ball in the first half, Rovers had the better of the opportunities in front of goal, Luke Wall and trialist Joe Nuttall both going close.

Wall would then go on to strike the post in the second half, but whilst Rovers had defended resolutely, an injury to full back Ryan Nyambe 15 minutes from time proved pivotal.

With Rovers reshuffling defensively, the Black Cats took full advantage, Jordan Blinco crossing for Rees Greenwood to head home.

Rovers looked to hit back but were caught with seven minutes to go, Greenwood firing home to seal the points for the home side.

"Up to about 70 minutes I was pleased with the way we performed but we didn't take our chances," said coach Brian Carey.

"But we got deeper and deeper as the game wore on and paid the price."

On the season so far, Carey added: "The lads have learnt a lot this season, they've probably gained more game time than anticipated and it should stand them in good stead.

"They've experienced a lot for such a young side, playing in some tough matches but it should serve them well in the future."

ROVERS: Fisher, Nyambe (sub Callaway 75 mins), Pirretas, Hardcastle, Scott, Platt, Mansell, Edgar, Nuttall (sub Howarth 70 mins), Joel (sub Mehew 80 mins), Wall.

Subs not used: Williams, Grayson.

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