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Rovers u18s 4 Sunderland u18s 4

20 November 2014

Rovers Under-18s staged a dramatic comeback in an eight-goal thriller against Sunderland on Tuesday.

After trailing 4-1 at half-time the young Rovers put in a superb second half performance  to earn a share of the spoils in a 4-4 draw at Brockhall.

Rovers started brightly but fell behind when Josh Askew needlessly fouled Andrew Nelson in the area, Ethan Robson fired home from the spot for the visitors.

Sunderland soon doubled their lead when slack marking from a corner saw Jordan Blinco fire home.

But on the half hour Rovers hit back with defender Mark Edgar grabbing his first goal of the season, volleying home Willem Tomlinson's corner kick.

However that brief revival was soon forgotten as the Black Cats grabbed two further goals before the break. A second goal from Robson following a head from Michael Ledger.

The second half saw Rovers come out with a greater attacking intent and they got their reward with a penalty on 58 minutes after Lewis Mansell had been fouled in the box. Academy top-scorer Sam Joel making no mistake from 12-yards with his 7th goal of the campaign.

Seven minutes later and Rovers made it 4-3 with Edgar grabbing his second of the game in spectacular fashion.

The Northern Ireland youth international took an inswinging corner and with pressure on the Sunderland goalkeeper from Cameron Scott and Lewis Mansell, the ball flew into the back of the net unaided.

Rovers had their tails up and 15 minutes to go the comeback was complete.

Neat build-up play saw the ball switched out wide for Askew to cross and Mansell, who had been a handful all game, headed back across goal and into the back of the net.

The drama didn't end there as Mansell thought he had given Rovers the lead but the goal was chalked off for a foul on the goalkeeper. Whilst the visitors also threatened on the break in a frantic finish.

"It was a good effort from the lads in the second half," said coach Brian Carey. "We made it more of a game, we played to our strengths and made it a lot more difficult for Sunderland.

"But the goals we conceded in the first half yet again continue to be a disappointment. We had to do better defensively."

ROVERS: Williams, Nyambe, Askew, Edo (sub Howarth 46 mins), Scott, Edgar, Joel, Pierce (c), Mansell, Tomlinson, Wall.

Subs not used: Fisher, Platt, Callaway, Pirretas.

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