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Rovers u21s 2 Swansea u21s 0

29 February 2016

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Rovers Under-21s returned to winning ways on Monday night with a 2-0 win over Swansea City.

A goal in each half was enough for the blue-and-whites to claim all three points in a comfortable display at Leigh Sports Village.

The home side were rewarded for their bright start with a 16th minute penalty. Anton Forrester making no mistake from the spot after Lee Lucas had handled in the area.

Then only a double save from Swansea keeper Gregor Zabret prevented Rovers from extending their lead as he denied Scott Wharton and Forrester.

Swansea posed an early threat in the second half as Lucas and Oliver McBurnie both went close, but they were rare attacks from the visitors as the Rovers regained control of the game.

A second home goal arrived on 65 minutes, David Carson seeing his ball into the area deflected into the back of his own net by defender Alex Gogic as Forrester closed in.

Rovers controlled proceedings in the closing stages to complete a good night's work.

Damien Johnson made three changes from the Under-21 side that faced Derby last time out. A hamstring injury to Ryan Nyambe meant a first development squad start this season for Lewis Travis, whilst Anton Forrester and Willem Tomlinson returned with Lewis Mansell and Joe Rankin-Costello dropping to the bench.

After a start disrupted by injuries it was Rovers who took the game to Swansea. A Connor Mahoney cross picked out his namesake Thomson at the back post but the midfielder saw his header deflected behind for a corner kick.

Rovers maintain the early pressure and were awarded a penalty on the quarter-hour when a Mahoney centre was helped on by the arm of Lee Lucas with the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Forrester took the honours and made no mistake from 12-yards with a deft chip into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.

After a spell were both sides cancelled each other, it was Rovers who imposed themselves once more.

A break from Thomson through the centre saw the ball played out to David Carson on the left, he returned play to his fellow midfielder but Thomson's flick flashed over the bar.

Then on 36 minutes only a double save from Swansea keeper Gregor Zabret prevented Rovers from doubling their advantage. 

From a Mahoney free-kick Scott Wharton headed goalwards only to see his header saved, Forrester looked to snap up the rebound but the Swans number one dived to tip the ball behind.

The visitors hadn't offered too much of a threat in the first half, but only an excellent block from Travis prevented Oliver McBurnie from getting his shot away in the area, before Daniel James volleyed over an Alex Bray centre at the back post.

The start of the second half saw Swansea force Eastwood into making his first save of the evening. Lucas with a well-struck free-kick which the Rovers stopper punched clear.

Then a centre from Adnan Maric found the head of McBurnie, but his effort cleared the crossbar.

Rovers grew into the game once more as the half continued, Forrester failing to find the target from a Mahoney corner, before Carson saw his claims for a penalty waved away after his route to goal was blocked.

But moments later Carson would play his part in Rovers doubling their lead, the midfielder's centre deflecting off the outstretched boot of Alex Gogic and the ball looped over everyone and into the back of the net. Forrester followed it in but the ball had already crossed the line.

Carson fancied getting amongst the goals himself with an acrobatic effort on 78 minutes, but despite striking the ball beautifully on the turn, Zabret dived to his left to save.

Rovers continued to force the pace in the closing stages, seeing the game out comfortably to claim a deserved three points.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Travis, Askew (sub Rankin-Costello 74 mins), Tomlinson, Lavelle (c), Wharton, Mahoney (sub Joel 90+4 mins), Hardcastle, Forrester, Carson, Thomson.

Subs not used: Platt, Fisher, Mansell.

Goals: Forrester (pen) 16 mins, Gogic (OG) 65 mins.

Booked: Hardcastle.

SWANSEA: Zabret, Rodon, Shephard (c), Lucas (sub Blair 62 mins), K. Davies, Gogic, James (sub Copp 84 mins), King, McBurnie, Maric, Bray (sub Biabi 71 mins).

Subs not used: Lewis, O. Davies

Goals: None.

Booked: McBurnie.

Attendance: 288.

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