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Middlesbrough u18s 2 Rovers u18s 1

4 November 2014

Rovers' Under-18s were unlucky to lose 2-1 away at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The young blue and whites rallied well after a calamitous start, with Lewis Mansell scoring a good goal, but they couldn't find further goals their play deserved.

It was a terrible start for Rovers at Rockliffe Park as they went behind inside two minutes.

The goal came from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Callum Williams failed to clear a back pass and fouled the attacker in the process. Boro forward Junior Mondal stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards.

The home side went looking for further goals, but eventually Rovers started to grow in confidence and deservedly got back on level terms on 35 minutes.

Strong play through the centre of the park saw midfielder Lewis Hardcastle play Lewis Mansell in on goal and he finished well for his second of the season.

But as Rovers looked to gain the upper hand, they were hit just before half-time. Poor defensive play saw Harrison Chapman steal in to score for Middlesbrough.

Unbowed, Rovers started the second half with determination, Adrian Edo going close just after the restart.

Then Sam Joel, who had earlier missed a great headed chance, looked to have been brought down in the area, but the officials waved play on.

With Rovers pushing more men forward they were always susceptible to a Middlesbrough break, but they defended stoutly at the back to keep in the game.

At the death Rovers came within inches to getting a deserved equaliser as Joel broke through in on goal. But whilst his effort beat the Boro keeper, the ball rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

"Overall the performance from the lads was a lot better," said coach Brian Carey.

"They didn't let the early mistake affect them and came back on the front foot to make it difficult for Middlesbrough.

"We showed a lot of qualities in what was a decent game, we deserved to get something out of it, we didn't deserve to get beat."

ROVERS: Williams, Pirretas, Edgar, Hardcastle, Platt, Scott, Howarth (sub Mehew 85 mins), Pierce (sub Callaway 75 mins), Mansell, Edo, Joel (c).

Subs not used: Tomlinson, Fisher, Askew.

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