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Rovers u18s 6 Preston u18s 0

2 August 2015

Rovers Under-18s found their goalscoring touch on Saturday with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Preston North End.

After 1-1 draws with Accrington Stanley and Blackpool, the Rovers Academy grabbed five goals in a one-sided first half to put them in command, before adding a sixth in the second period.

It was striker Lewis Mansell who did the majority of the damage. The young forward, who has featured for the first team this pre-season, plundered a  first half hat-trick, whilst strikes from Mason Fawns and Joel Steer, and an own goal, made it a pleasing morning for the home side.

Rovers were quickly into their stride against Preston, setting the tone from the off at Brockhall.

After Tre Pemberton had a shot blocked and Alex Curran saw his effort saved, Rovers took the lead inside four minutes.

It was made by full-back Lewis Travis, the defender made good progress down the right and as he crossed into the box, the ball was forced home by Mansell.

The forward then saw a shot kept out following good work by Pemberton, but after the Preston keeper had saved well to thwart Mansell once more, Fawns was on hand to claim the rebound to make it 2-0.

By the half hour mark it was 3-0. A corner from Fawns was headed goalwards by Charley Doyle, with the last touch coming off a Preston boot to divert it into the roof of the net.

Curran saw a shot saved after excellent work from Stefan Mols, before Mansell made it 4-0 on 37 minutes.

The tall striker showed good strength to brush off the attentions of his marker before turning in the area and finding the back of the net.

There was still time for Rovers to grab a fifth and for Mansell to claim a hat-trick. Having been fouled in the area, Mansell stepped up and made no mistake from 12-yards to complete a fine first half for the Blues and Whites.

Rovers may have made nine changes at the break but that didn't stop them peppering the Preston goal with efforts.

But unlike the first half, they only had Joel Steer's 50th minute strike to show for their endeavours.

Matty Makinson's fine run on the overlap created the chance and as he pulled the ball back in the area Steer fired first-time into the net.

Mansell glanced wide another Makinson centre, whilst Callum Hendry and Joe Rankin-Costello also went close.

The visitors did pose more of an attacking threat in the second half, but Ben Ascroft in the Rovers goal was rarely troubled.

The Under-18s are back in action this Tuesday when they take on Fleetwood Town at Brockhall - kick-off 2pm.

ROVERS 1ST HALF: Ascroft, Travis, Platt, C. Doyle, Williams, Pemberton, Trialist, Mols, Fawns, Curran, Mansell.

ROVERS 2ND HALF: Ascroft, Makinson, Magloire, Rankin-Costello, Askew, Howarth, Hendry, Pirretas, Mehew, Steer, Mansell.

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