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Rovers u18s 2 Wolves u18s 0

20 February 2016

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Rovers' Under-18s ended their regular league season with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanders on Friday afternoon.

In their final game before the end of season play-offs, first half goals from Stefan Mols and Lewis Mansell ensured a valuable three points for the lads.

Rovers started brightly at Brockhall, taking the lead after just ten minutes.

Matty Platt's forward ball found Ramirez Howarth and he set up Mols who fired across the goalkeeper and into the back of the net with a sweet left-foot finish.

Rovers continued to dominate possession, Lewis Hardcastle at the heart of everything in the centre of the park, but the defence needed to be watchful with Wolves dangerous on the counter.

But five minutes before the break the home side's advantage was doubled. Winning the ball on half-way, Hardcastle played in Howarth down the right and the forward's cross picked out Mansell who scored with a towering header.

It was the young forward's 21st goal in all competitions this season.

The second half was slower to get going in what was a more even match with both sides having half chances.

With an eye on Tuesday night's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Luton Town at Ewood, Billy Barr made a triple substitution on the hour as Tre Pemberton, Ryan Nyambe and Hardcastle made way for Mason Fawns, Lewis Travis and Joe Grayson.

Grayson would go on to have Rovers' best chance of the second half, but the Wolves keeper made a fine save from his left-foot shot.

Resolute in defence, the young Rovers saw the game out to claim the win. The result means that if Sunderland fail to beat Liverpool on Tuesday, then the Lancashire club will go into the top play-off group for the end of season matches.

"It was an important match for the lads and we handled it really well," said assistant coach Ian Jones.

"We were pleased with the way we started the game, dominating with a lot of possession and we scored two good goals.

"It was great preparation for Tuesday night's match for the lads, hopefully they will recover well.

"We are hoping to see loads of Rovers fans at Ewood Park for what is a huge match against Luton."

ROVERS: Fisher, Nyambe (sub Travis 60 mins), Platt, Wharton, Askew, Rankin-Costello, Hardcastle (sub Grayson 60 mins), Mols, Pemberton (sub Fawns 60 mins), Mansell, Howarth.

Subs not used: Ascroft, Steer.

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