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Liverpool u18s 1 Rovers u18s 2

29 February 2016

Rovers Under-18s kicked off their end of season play-off campaign with an impressive 2-1 away win at Liverpool on Saturday.

Fresh from making the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, goals from Joe Rankin-Costello and Matty Platt saw the young Rovers triumph on Merseyside.

It was the hosts who had the better of the early openings at Kirkby, Rovers happy to concede possession and play on the counter.

But at the midway point of the half it was the side in blue-and-white who grabbed opening goal.

Excellent anticipation from Ben Williams saw the defender intercept a pass to then send Ramirez Howarth scampering down the left. The attacker showed quick feet to beat his man before cutting the ball back from the byline for Rankin-Costello to fire home at the near post.

Leading at the break, Rovers continued to frustrate their hosts but with seven minutes to go Liverpool got back on level terms as Trent Alexander-Arnold was allowed to get around the back of the visitor's defence to score at the near post.

But the reaction from Rovers was immediate. Following a strong forward run by Tyler Magloire, they were awarded a free-kick. Joe Grayson clipped the ball to the back post to where Platt sent a looping header into the far corner of the net to win the game.

"We are delighted with the result," said U18s assistant coach Ian Jones. "But we felt we could have played better, particularly in possession.

"But Liverpool put out a very strong side - their youth cup side - so to go there with a less experienced team and get the win was great testament to the lads' character.

"Our Under-16s also managed to win 2-1 so it was a really pleasing afternoon on Merseyside."

ROVERS: Fisher, Makinson, Platt, Magloire, Williams, Grayson, Mols, Rankin-Costello, Pemberton, Mansell, Howarth.

Subs not used: Fawns, Steer, Curran, Ascroft, Doyle.

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