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Rovers u18s 4 Fleetwood u18s 3

4 August 2015

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Rovers Under-18s warmed up for the new season by edging a seven-goal thriller with Fleetwood on Tuesday afternoon.

In what was a terrific advert for Academy football, Rovers roared into a 2-0 lead thanks to a Mason Fawns double, but by 67 minutes they were 3-2 down to a lively Fleetwood side.

However Billy Barr's team showed good character to finish the match on the winning side as captain Lewis Hardcastle struck twice late on to clinch the win.

Like the weekend win over Preston, Rovers were quick out the blocks at Brockhall, taking the lead inside nine minutes.
Olly Mehew was sent scampering down the right flank and as he centred, forward Mason Fawns controlled before firing into the top corner of the net.

Mehew then saw a shot across goal tipped wide, but the lead was doubled on 22. A corner from Lewis Hardcastle was cleared back to the midfielder and as he crossed a second time Fawns was on hand to fire home.

At the other end Andy Fisher tipped over a Fleetwood strike, before Stuart Callaway fired wide after good work from Hardcastle and Mehew.

However just before the half hour the visitors were awarded a penalty after Callaway was adjudged to have brought a man down in the box. Fleetwood making no mistake from 12-yards.

A fine block from Joe Rankin-Costello prevented the Cod Army from getting on level terms before the break, however they did manage to make it 2-2 eight minutes into the second half as Fleetwood broke well from a Rovers attack to equalise.

On 67 the turnaround was complete for Fleetwood. Hesitant home defending allowed an attacker to skip his way past a host of challenges and he found the back of the net from close range.

To their credit Rovers immediately pressed for a way back and drew level just five minutes later through their captain Lewis Hardcastle.

The midfielder showed good footwork to advance towards goal before finding the bottom corner of the net with a shot from outside the box.

Then on 77 Rovers made it 4-3 in their favour. After Callaway had been upended 25-yards out. Hardcastle stepped up and made no mistake, curling a sweetly struck free-kick into the top corner of the net.

Fleetwood almost evened up the scores once more, with Rovers somehow scrambling the ball away, before Hardcastle was the width of a post away from grabbing his hat-trick, as another fine strike slammed the post and away.

ROVERS: Fisher, Makinson, Magloire, Rankin-Costello, Williams, Mahew, Hardcastle, Pirretas, Callaway, Fawns, Steer.

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