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Man Utd U18s 2 Rovers U18s 1

2 February 2015

Rovers Under-18s’ three-match winning streak came to an end following a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Manchester United.

Goals either side of the interval from Zach Dearnley and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson put United in control, before substitute Lewis Mansell reduced the arrears for Rovers.

The forward had come off the bench to score in the reverse fixture between the two teams back in October, when United ran out 4-1 winners, and he made an immediate impact once again, but Brian Carey’s side were unable to secure a share of the spoils.

United started the game strongly, putting Rovers on the back foot early on.

The visitors slowly grew into the game and it became an even contest by the midway point in the half.

Rovers had a chance to break the deadlock, which wasn’t taken, and United went straight down the other end to score. 

Tyler Reid’s centre deflected off a Rovers defender and Dearnley was in the right place at the right time to head home.

Rovers got to the break just a goal behind and played higher up the pitch in the second half, putting United under some pressure.

Again, just as it looked like the visitors would level, Rovers’ young charges conceded a second on the counter.

Marcus Rashford hit the outside of the upright, RoShaun Williams showed composure to gain possession and tee up Borthwick-Jackson, who netted from close range.

Rovers made a tactical change, with Mansell replacing Jan Pirretas and Willem Tomlinson moving to right-back, and they soon reaped the rewards.

Following a move down the left and a cross into the box, Sam Joel laid the ball off to Modou Cham, who struck the underside of the bar, but Mansell was on hand to head home the rebound.

Rovers had opportunities to equalise, as they enjoyed a late spell of pressure, but the Reds looked dangerous on the break and saw the game out to record a fifth straight win.

Coach Brian Carey said: “We made a good fist of it towards the end, but we just couldn’t get the second goal. 

“We are disappointed not to get a result or to reach the standards we’ve set in recent weeks, but you’ve got to take into account the quality of the opposition and there are still plenty of positives to take from the performance.”

ROVERS: Fisher, Pirretas (Mansell 55), Askew, Hardcastle, Platt, Scott, Cham, Tomlinson, Joel, Tanner (Edo 85), Wall (Callaway 74).
Subs not used: Howarth, Edgar.

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