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Rovers u18s 2 Liverpool u18s 2

28 November 2016

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The Under-18s claimed a worthy point on Saturday with a 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool.

The young Rovers took an early lead through Daniel Butterworth, but then had to play the majority of the match with ten men as Callum Hendry received a straight red card.

The visitors turned the match around to go 2-1 ahead, but a Lewis Thompson free-kick five minutes from time saw Rovers get a deserved equaliser.

It was an open start at a chilly Brockhall, with Rovers starting the match strongly, taking the lead after just 14 minutes.

Neat approach play saw the ball worked to Brad Lynch and his reverse pass was swept home by fellow forward Butterworth.

However the strong Liverpool side got back on level terms ten minutes later from the penalty spot after Tyler Magloire tripped his man in the area and Glen McAuley scored from the spot.

Then Rovers were reduced to ten men after Callum Hendry saw red. The young forward made a good tackle on a Liverpool defender, but the referee deemed that both feet were off the floor in the process and Hendry received his marching orders.

Rovers saw out the remaining minutes in the first half, but early in the second the visitors made the most of the extra man to go 2-1 in front. McAuley grabbing his second of the match. 

With nothing to lose Rovers grew stronger as the game wore on, carrying the greater threat through the attacking play of Butterworth, Tre Pemberton and Stefan Mols.

Five minutes from time the pressure from the home side eventually told. And after Pemberton had been tripped, Thompson whipped in the resulting free-kick left-footed, the ball beating everyone to nestle into the far corner of the net for his first goal this season.

Rovers could have then snatched all three points in the final seconds of the game as Pemberton again showed his trickery down the right, but his centre was just too high for substitute Joel Steer as it flashed agonisingly past the post.

"We showed a pleasing reaction from the lads to stay together, remain competitive, and grind out another result with ten men," said U18s assistant coach Ian Jones.

"It isn't ideal to play with ten men but it does provide a great environment to learn from. Liverpool were very complimentary about us after the game.

"There have been plusses with ten men in both the Liverpool and Everton games. The physical and mental side to stick together to try to win the game, they showed a massive spirit."

ROVERS: Ascroft, Jackson, Thompson, Evans (sub Buckley 77 mins), Makinson, Magloire, Pemberton, Mols, Butterworth, Hendry, Lynch (sub Steer 61 mins).

Subs not used: Williams, Campbell, Wright.

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