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Stoke City u21s 1 Rovers u21s 0

23 March 2015

Rovers Under-21s slipped to a disappointing 1-0 away loss to ten-man Stoke City on Friday afternoon.

Eric Kinder's side went into the match looking to make it a double over the Potters this season, but came unstuck as the home side struck with less than 20 minutes to go to claim the points.

Following their goalless draw with Arsenal on Monday, Rovers welcomed back Jack Doyle after a knee injury, whilst there was a first start for Academy forward Luke Wall.

After a scrappy start to the match at Clayton Wood it was Rovers who were first to threaten, Hyuga Tanner with a dangerous ball across the box that needed to be hacked clear.

Ryan Nyambe then tested Stoke goalkeeper Daniel Gyollai with a fine shot from the edge of the box after cutting inside, but his effort was tipped over.

Rovers maintained their pressure at the start of the second half with Gyollai called upon once more with a fine double save.

Tanner was denied after meeting a cross from the right, then Bradley Bauress was brilliantly kept at bay on the follow-up.

Rovers' chances of making their dominance count looked to improve after Potters midfielder Eddy Lecygne was shown a straight red card on 65 for a poor challenge on Bauress, but it was the home side who took inspiration to grab the only goal of the game some seven minutes later.

Stoke made progress down the right flank through Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson and his cross picked out Joel Taylor in the area who fired into the bottom corner.

David Raya prevented the Potters from doubling their advantage soon afterwards when he made a smart stop from a Charlie Ward free kick.

The closing stages saw Rovers attempt to get a share of the spoils, but the closest they came was a well-worked free kick that saw Sam Lavelle tee up substitute Mark Edgar but he fired straight at Gyollai.

The Under-21s are next in action on Monday 30th March when they face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Doyle (sub Edgar 63 mins), Thomson, Lavelle, Daly, Carson, Bauress, Green, Tanner (sub Rittenberg 54 mins), Wall (sub Hardcastle 71 mins.

Subs not used: Crump, Cham.

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