Rovers Under-18s got their pre-season campaign underway with a 1-1 draw at home to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
In a keenly contested match at Brockhall, it was Stanley who grabbed a first half lead, but a fine strike from Callum Hendry 13 minutes from time ensured a share of the spoils.
Chances were at a premium in a full-blooded opening, as neither side eased their way into pre-season, play was mainly in the centre of the park with little in the way of goalmouth action.
That changed on 38 minutes when the visitors grabbed the opening goal. A shot from distance by Nathan Webb was spectacularly kept out by goalkeeper Ben Ascroft, but he was powerless to prevent Stanley forward Tyler Scarth from following in to nod home.
Rovers improved in the second half, finally putting the opposition under pressure. Full back Lewis Travis went close on 68 minutes with a shot that was deflected just past the post, before Callum Hendry saw an effort saved.
The home side maintained their forward momentum and gained their reward on 77 minutes.
After an initial corner had been cleared to the edge of the box the loose ball was swept home by Hendry with an effort that flew into the keeper's top right corner.
After a couple of seasons out with injury, the delight on the young forward's face was there for all to see.
To their credit Stanley came strong in the closing stages, forcing a series of corner kicks, but Ascroft was alert to the danger, making a fine save to tip over a late header.
The Academy side are back in action next Saturday at Brockhall when they entertain Blackpool. Kick-off is at 11.00am.
ROVERS: Ascroft, Pirretas (sub Travis 46 mins), Rankin-Costello (sub C. Doyle 66 mins), C. Doyle (sub Magloire 32 mins), Askew (sub Williams 46 mins), Pemberton (sub Callaway 70 mins), Grayson (sub Fawns 70 mins), Fawns (sub Mehew 46 mins), Callaway (sub Curran 46 mins), Howarth (sub Pirretas 70 mins), Steer (sub Hendry 46 mins).