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Darwen defeated

23 July 2014

AFC Darwen 0 Rovers u21s 1

Rovers' Under-21s made it back-to-back pre-season wins with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over AFC Darwen on Tuesday night.

Following on from Saturday's 5-4 win over Knaresborough Town, Eric Kinder's side were again tested but came through to win by a narrow margin.

The only goal of the game came just past the hour mark when Dean Rittenberg, on the pitch for a matter of seconds, finished well from Paulo Jorge's through ball.

Darwen battled hard for an equaliser but were unable to convert late opportunities.

Almost 350 fans were in attendance at the Anchor Ground as Darwen goalkeeper Stefan Holden was called into action early on, saving well one-handed after Jordan Preston raced through.

At the other end David Raya had to be alert to claim a header from Adam Douglas, before the Spaniard was a touch fortunate to see his clearance rebound off forward Bobby Langford and wide.

Chances came and went for both sides before Rovers should have taken the lead at the end of the first half. Bradley Bauress broke through down the right to race into the area, he squared the ball for Jordan Slew but with the goal at his mercy he blazed horribly wide.

Changes were made at the break and two of those half-time substitutes - Devarn Green and Modou Cham - combined well to find Jordan Preston in the area but his curling effort flashed wide.

Dean Rittenberg replaced Jordan Preston on the hour and within two minutes the deadlock was finally broken. Paulo Jorge took advantage of space in the midfield to thread a through ball for Rittenberg to latch onto and the England youth striker finished well into the corner.

The forward then turned provider after a neat interchange with Luke Wall, but Wall's effort was straight at the goalkeeper.

As the game entered the final ten minutes it was the home side forcing the pace. A teasing ball across the area by Matt McNamara found Langford at the back post but he somehow poked wide.

Matthew Allan headed onto the roof of the net from a long throw before McNamara took aim from distance, but his rising shot didn't trouble the Rovers goal.

The blue and whites almost added a second right on full time as Rittenberg beat the offside trap to feed Wall, but his effort was well saved by Danny Fradd.

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