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Middlesbrough u18s 5 Rovers u18s 1

3 November 2015

Rovers Under-18s suffered their first away defeat of the season when they went down 5-1 away to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Late goals from the home side didn't show a true reflection of the game as Rovers were fully in the encounter until the closing stages at Rockliffe Park.

The young Rovers' could have found themselves a goal down within the first seconds when an under-hit backpass saw the hosts through, but Andy Fisher in goal was alert to the danger.

The first half saw chances for both sides, but it was Middlesbrough who grabbed the opening goal five minutes before the break. A well-worked free-kick caught Rovers out and the home side capitalised.

It got worse for the Blue and Whites at the start of the second when Boro doubled their advantage, but Rovers responded well with some enterprising play.

On the hour mark the visitors reduced the deficit thanks to good awareness from Ramirez Howarth. The attacker robbed the ball off an opposing player before cutting inside and finding the back of the net with a sweet left-foot finish.

From the restart Rovers threatened again through Howarth, but he couldn't find the target on this occasion.

Billy Barr's side continued to push the hosts back, creating further opportunities, but without success, and, as spaced opened up at the back in the closing stages, Middlesbrough took advantage.

With ten minutes to go Rovers gave the ball away cheaply from which Boro made it 3-1, and with them chasing the game, the home side were able to add two further goals in the final few minutes to confirm a first away loss.

"Obviously it is a disappointing scoreline, but it didn't paint a true picture of the game," said Under-18s coach Billy Barr.

"You have top say well done to Middlesbrough for getting the goals and making the scoreline look flattering.

"Up until their third goal it was a really good game, we've played far worse and won. So we'll try and take the positives from the match, but remind them of the negatives as well."

ROVERS: Fisher, Travis, Askew, C. Doyle, Magloire, Rankin-Costello (sub Fawns 82 mins), Mols, Grayson, Steer, Pemberton (sub Whalley 82 mins), Howarth.

Subs not used: Ascroft, Makinson, Pirretas

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