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Everton u18s 2 Rovers u18s 1

4 April 2016

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A young Rovers Under-18 side slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Everton on Saturday.

After a goalless opening 45 at Finch Farm, two goals within the space of four second half minutes put the home side in control.

Joe Grayson set up an exciting end to the match with a penalty 12 minutes from time, but it proved to be mere consolation.

With a host of Academy regulars in action for the Under-21s on Friday night, it was a young side that took to the field at Everton's training ground with just three second years in the 15-man squad.

Despite this it was Rovers who started the better of the two sides, but despite having plenty of possession, they weren't able to create anything meaningful in terms of goalmouth opportunities.

In contrast, the hosts went the closest to breaking the deadlock when Delial Brewster crashed an effort against the crossbar.

But two goals conceded in quick succession early in the second half gave the Toffees an advantage that they wouldn't squander.

On 51 minutes left back Ben Williams misjudged a diagonal ball, and as Shayne Lavery raced into the area, his cutback rebounded off the Rovers defender and into the back of his own net.

Four minutes later and Everton would have their second. Mason Fawns saw his pass intercepted in midfield, Brewster fed Lavery, and he raced into the area before emphatically finding the back of the net giving Rovers keeper Ben Ascroft no chance.

But to be fair to the young Rovers they showed the desired spirit to get back into the game and their efforts were rewarded on 78 minutes.

Substitute Joel Steer chased a through ball into the box before being sent unceremoniously crashing to the ground by Everton defender Josef Yarney for a clear penalty decision.

Joe Grayson stepped up from 12-yards and made no mistake for his fourth of the campaign.

That lead to an entertaining end to the game as Rovers pressed for a second goal and a share of the spoils, but despite seeing plenty of the ball in promising situations, they just ran out of time.

"With the majority of the lads playing for the Under-21s, it was a very young side up against the Dallas Cup winning team," said assistant coach Ian Jones.

"We did really well, but ultimately it was poor defending that let us down and cost us the victory."

ROVERS: Ascroft, Pirretas, Williams, Grayson, C. Doyle, Magloire, Pemberton, Mols, Mansell (sub Steer 70 mins), Fawns (sub Curran 67 mins), Howarth.

Subs not used: Campbell, Carter.

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