Rovers' Under-18s suffered only their fourth loss this season as they went down 4-1 away to Manchester City.
The scoreline wasn't a true reflection on the game overall as the league leaders scored two late goals to put the match beyond Billy Barr's side.
The game at Manchester couldn't have gotten off to a worse start for the young Rovers as they fell behind inside three minutes when Matty Makinson was caught in possession and the ball was squared for Jadon Sancho to score.
Rovers grew into the game as the half wore on but their task was made all the more difficult when City were awarded a generous penalty decision with seven minutes of the first half remaining. The referee deemed that Tyler Magloire had handled despite only being a couple of yards away when the ball was played against him. Sancho making no mistake from the spot.
To their credit Rovers improved after the break, taking the game to their hosts, and they grabbed a deserved goal back on 66 minutes when John Buckley scored his first of the season thanks to a fine in-swinging free-kick.
That spurred Rovers on in search of an equaliser, creating several openings, but they just lacked that cutting edge in front of goal when it mattered.
And with Rovers pushing on, City struck twice in added time at the end of the game as they capitalised on individual errors. Substitute Ian Poveda and a hat-trick goal from Sancho completed the scoring.
"The scoreline flatters them a little bit," said Under-18s coach Billy Barr.
"City were very complimentary about the way we played and said it didn't warrant a 4-1, but that is how it finished.
"Going forward into the Arsenal game it is about making sure we can build on how we played in the second half and putting it into practice on Friday in the FA Youth Cup."
ROVERS: Ascroft, Jackson, Thompson, C. Doyle, Makinson, Magloire (sub Carter 83 mins), Pemberton, Buckley (sub Wright 78 mins), Butterworth, Steer (sub Lynch 75 mins), Evans.
Subs not used: Campbell, Paton.