Rovers' Under-18s suffered an opening day defeat as they went down 4-0 away at Liverpool.
It was a scoreline that didn't tell the whole story as Rovers were more than a match for their more experienced opponents until the latter stages of the game.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Billy Barr's side after only returning from a fortnight in Holland 24 hours earlier, and it looked like they'd be in for a long afternoon when Liverpool opened the scoring after just three minutes through Liam Millar.
With the majority of the second years playing for the Under-23s at Fulham, the young Rovers showed a tremendous spirit and attitude to get back into the game, and but for more composure in front of goal they should have gone in at the break level.
The second half started in the same fashion with Rovers on the front foot. Liverpool indebted to their keeper who made several fine saves.
But two further goals from Millar in the space of two minutes just past the hour mark took the wind out of Rovers' sails as their previous exploits caught up with them, and a fourth was added in injury time through Glen McAuley.
"We always knew that it was going to be a tough ask having only just come back from our trip to Holland," said Barr.
"We may have been exhausted, but full credit to the lads, they kept going and the scoreline wasn't a true reflection of the match."
The Under-18s are next in action at Brockhall this Saturday when they face Derby County - kick-off 12.00pm.
ROVERS: Campbell, Jackson, Thompson (sub Buckley 62 mins), Makinson, Jones, Mols, Wright, Curran (sub Fawns 62 mins), Williams, Robinson (sub Evans 80 mins), Butterworth.
Subs not used: Winterbottom, Carter.