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Rovers u21s 1 Stoke City u21s 0

26 October 2015

A second half goal from Connor Thomson was enough for Rovers' Under-21s to claim all three points against Stoke City at Leigh Sports Village.

The Rovers midfielder latched onto Connor Mahoney's right wing cross to fire home with ten minutes to go in a match of few chances on Monday night.

Neither goal was troubled in the first half, and although the situation improved after the break with Anton Forrester going close for Rovers and Dominic Telford for the visitors. It wasn't until the final few minutes that the game finally came to life thanks to Thomson's strike.

Mahoney then blazed over when put through, but the Potters should have levelled on 86 minutes but Yusuf Coban put his back post header wide of target.

Rovers showed good common sense to see out the remaining minutes without any further alarms to claim their third league win of the season.


Rovers and Stoke went into the match with similar league records this season and that showed as the two teams cancelled each other out in a turgid first half.

Whilst there was plenty of hard work on show from the two young teams there was little in the way of goalmouth action at Leigh Sports Village.

The first meaningful opportunity arrived in the 29th minute when Connor Thomson dived bravely to attempt to reach a Connor Mahoney cross, but the visitors defended the dangerous situation well.

Play opened up as the first half drew to a close, Luke Wall fired wide for Rovers with a shot from just outside the box, whilst from a similar position Stoke's Ollie Shenton tested David Raya with a swerving shot that required the Spaniard to readjust to make the save.

The resulting corner saw Peter Skapetis attempt a ambitious overhead kick but it trickled harmlessly through to Raya as the first 45 ended goalless.

Whilst Anton Forrester went close for Rovers with a back flick, the start of the second half became increasingly bad tempered with very little flow to the game.

The Potters who went close to breaking the deadlock on 75 minutes, as Dominic Telford let fly, but the attacker's shot on the turn was inches wide.

With the game looking to be drifting towards a goalless conclusion it was Rovers who struck with ten minutes to go.

After neat approach play through the middle, the ball was switched wide to Mahoney and as he sent the ball into the box, Thomson arrived right on time to fire home.

Thomson was then involved as Devarn Green and Anton Forrester set up Mahoney but the wideman blazed over when well placed.

Stoke had offered very little as an attacking force but they should have levelled on 86 minutes. Joel Taylor sent a cross from the right over to the back post but substitute Yusuf Coban couldn't get enough on his header and the chance was gone.

Rovers showed good maturity and composure to see out the remaining minutes to clinch all three points in what was a tough encounter.

ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Doyle, Carson (sub Tomlinson 66 mins), Lavelle (c), Wharton, Mahoney, Thomson, Forrester, Green, Wall (sub Rittenberg 81 mins).

Subs not used: Edgar, Fisher, Tanner.

Goals: Thomson 80 mins.

Booked: None.

STOKE: Bachmann, Pringle, Banks, Lecygne, Edwards, Watkins-Clark, Taylor, Shenton, Skapetis (sub Coban 67 mins), Telford, Ouariachi.

Subs: Waddington, Gyollai, Mollina, Moseley.

Goals: None.

Booked: Lecygne, Watkins-Clark.

Attendance: 317


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