Rovers Under-21s slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Chorley on Friday night.
In a close competitive encounter, it was the home side who claimed the spoils courtesy of a close-range header from Marcus Carver two minutes from time.
It was an end-to-end opening to the match with both sides creating opportunities. On four minutes Adam Roscoe fired wide for the Magpies, before a dangerous centre at the other end from Connor Mahoney was just missed by trialist Menelik Chaka.
Young Rovers goalkeeper Andy Fisher was called into action on 20 minutes, making a fine low save to keep out a shot from Chris Almond. Then Mahoney missed a great opportunity after a pass from David Carson, before the midfielder shot tamely at keeper Sam Ashton.
In an increasingly robust match, Sam Lavelle had to be substituted on the half hour after needing stitches for a cut to his face. Jack Doyle the man on in his place.
Joe Grayson lashed over from distance, before Carson was inches wide with a curling effort after Chaka had done well to rob his man in the corner. But despite a host of chances, it remained goalless at the break.
Jordan Preston replaced Chaka at half-time, whilst the hosts made several substitutions themselves.
Despite the changes the game continued in a similar fashion to the first with both sides looking to create but with neither goalkeeper unduly troubled.
Dean Rittenberg headed over a Connor Thomson cross, before Lewis Hardcastle threaded a through-ball to Carson but his well struck shot was kept out.
Paul Jarvis fired low past Andy Fisher's far post, then fellow sub Aaron Burns shot straight at the Rovers keeper when well placed.
The closest the Rovers would come to breaking the deadlock came on 83 minutes. Good persistance around the edge of the box saw Carson win the ball, he fed Preston who equally showed good strength to shrug off his marker, but his near-post strike skimmed the woodwork and only found the side-netting.
The Magpies pressed late into the game and got the only goal of the match two minutes from time.
After Dale Whitham had seen his shot blocked for a corner. The midfielder sent the ball to the near post to where striker Marcus Carver timed his run perfectly to glance the ball home and seal the win.
"It was a really good test for us against a strong uncompromising Chorley side," said U21 lead coach Damien Johnson.
"I was pleased with the way we went about the game, the boys can be happy with their efforts."
CHORLEY: Ashton, Ross, Dodd, Teague (c), Flynn, Roscoe, Hine, Whitham, Carver, Guy, Almond.
Subs: Stephenson, Charnock, Burns, Jarvis, Lynch, Winter, Blezika, Haslam.
ROVERS: Fisher, Thomson, Edgar, Hardcastle (sub Cham 73 mins), Lavelle (sub Doyle 30 mins), Wharton, Mahoney (sub Green 88 mins), Grayson, Chaka (sub Preston 46 mins), Carson, Rittenberg (sub Wall 88 mins).
Subs not used: Ascroft.