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Rovers u21s 2 West Brom u21s 2

27 October 2014

Rovers twice came from behind to earn a share of the spoils in an entertaining draw with West Bromwich Albion at Leigh Sports Village.

Second half goals from Yann Songo'o and Jordan Preston cancelled out earlier strikes from the Samir Nabi and Tavhon Campbell.

The visitors were much the better side in the first half, Rovers fortunate that Albion only had Samir Nabi's 9th minute strike to show for their dominance.

Rovers improved after the break and drew level just past the hour mark through Yann Songo'o, only for substitute Tavhon Campbell to immediately put West Brom back in front.

But Rovers battled on and when Sam Lavelle was fouled in the box, Jordan Preston made no mistake from 12 yards to earn the home side a draw.


It was a fast and furious start at Leigh Sports Village, with the visitors impressing from the off.

Inside five minutes Albion went close to opening the scoring. A fine forward ball from Adil Nabi saw Danny Barrow through on goal. His shot across goal beat Ryan Crump but hit the post, Alex Jones followed in on the rebound but his effort was well blocked by Rovers defender Kellen Daly.

But after surviving the first chance of the game, Rovers would go behind from the visitor's second opportunity on 9 minutes.

Again, it was a lovely ball through the middle, as Adil found his brother Samir who controlled in an instant and fired low past Crump.

Whilst Rovers huffed and puffed in their attempts to get back into the game, Albion continued to create the better openings. Adil Nabi again the provider as he sent Jones through on goal, but the forward put his effort just wide of the far post.

The start of the second half saw Dean Rittenberg narrowly head wide a Connor Mahoney, whilst the impressive Adil Nabi fed Jones once more but his shot struck the post as the visitors went looking for further goals.

However, sit was Rovers who would grab the second goal, Kellen Daly with a teasing ball into the area which saw Yann Songo'o rise to head home despite the Albion keeper's best efforts

Sixty seconds later it was very 2-1 to Rovers. Again, Daly sent a dangerous ball into the box which Devarn Green met on the volley but Jack Rose made a smart save.

Play was switched straight up the other end with Baggies getting a second goal. Tavhon Campbell, on as a substitute just two minutes earlier, taking advantage of some defensive hesitancy to somehow squeeze the ball in at the near post.

Suddenly it was an end-to-end affair, Rovers' captain Bradley Bauress saw fierce shot blocked, before Hyuga Tanner nodded a cross just past the far post.

With seven minutes to go Rovers were handed the chance to get back on level terms when a penalty was awarded. Defender Sam Lavelle appeared to be held down as he went to head a Mahoney corner, the referee surprising many by pointing to the spot.

Substitute Jordan Preston took the honours and made no mistake, emphatically firing home from 12-yards, blasting his spot-kick into the top right corner leaving Rose no chance.

Both sides pressed for a winner, but there were no further opportunities in front of goal as the spoils were shared.

"In the end it is a good point," coach Eric Kinder told Rovers Player.

"After our first half performance we were lucky to only come in 1-0 down, we were as poor as we've been.

"Our second half was a lot better than the first, but it shows how far we've come when you walk into that dressing room and everybody has their heads down and we've drawn 2-2 against a Premier League side.

"There's a bit of sprit about us, we didn't give up, last season we'd have lost that one. The lads kept going right to the end."

ROVERS: Crump, Daly, Doyle, Green (sub Joel 88 mins), Songo'o, Lavelle, Carson (sub Wall 67 mins), Bauress (c), Rittenberg (sub Preston 67 mins), Tanner, Mahoney.

Subs not used: Williams, Cham.

Goals: Songo'o 67 mins, Preston 84 mins.

Booked: None

WEST BROM: Rose, Atkinson, Garmson (sub Smart 46 mins), Pace, Cleet, Howkins, Barrow (sub Birch 79 mins), S. Nabi, Jones (sub Campbell 66 mins), A. Nabi (c), Wedderburn.

Subs not used: Palmer, Fitzwater

Goals: S. Nabi 9 mins, Campbell 68 mins

Booked: None

Attendance: 255

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