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Rovers u18s 2 Everton u18s 1

29 September 2015

Rovers' Under-18s stretched their unbeaten run to five matches with a 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday.

First half goals from Lewis Mansell and Joe Rankin-Costello saw the young Rovers claim the points to inflict a first defeat of the season on their opponents.

Billy Barr's side have been strong starters this season and it was the same once more at Brockhall as Rovers took the lead on nine minutes from their first meaningful attack.

A long throw into the penalty area found it's way to Mansell and the Rovers striker evaded a couple of challenges before finding the bottom corner with a clever left-foot finish.

The early goal settled Rovers down, but they couldn't build on their advantage and the Toffees grabbed a leveller on 25 minutes after defender Matty Platt could only divert a Callum Lees centre into the back of his own net.

Mansell missed a great chance to put Rovers back in front, but seven minutes before the break the home side regained the lead in sensational fashion.

A ball into the box was only cleared as far as Rankin-Costello and the young midfielder controlled on his chest before hitting a superb dipping volley that flew high into the back of the net.

It was the visitors who started the stronger in the second half, but the turning point came on the hour mark when Everton were reduced to ten men after half-time substitute Anthony Evans was sent off for a headbutt on Rovers defender Lewis Travis.

The home side were then camped in the opposition half for long periods, but their inability to add to the goal count lead to some pressure from the Toffees on the counter.

Despite missing chances in the closing stages, Rovers were able to see out the match and claim another three points.

"It wasn't our best display as we were wasteful in possession, we kept giving the ball back to them," said coach Billy Barr.

"It is the first time we've played against ten men and we panicked a little bit. We were trying to protect the lead rather than taking advantage of the extra player which lead to a few nervy moments.

"We've shown them the game to ensure that it won't happen again."

ROVERS: Fisher, Travis, Askew, Rankin-Costello, Platt, Magloire, Fawns (sub Pemberton 68 mins), Mols, Mansell (sub Steer 75 mins), Grayson (sub Pirretas 80 mins), Howarth.

Subs not used: C. Doyle, Ascroft.

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