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Rovers u18s 1 Reading u18s 2

1 April 2017

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Two goals in a minute condemned Rovers' Under-18s to a 2-1 home loss to Reading on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, defender Charley Doyle opened the scoring for the Blues on 72 minutes following a fantastic move.

But the Royals responded just moments later with two goals to turn the game around.

Rovers saw Tre Pemberton sent off for two bookable offences in the closing stages as Billy Barr's youngsters suffered their second defeat of the elite play-off stage.

With the Under-23s without a match this past week, Rovers put out a particularly strong side, the majority of which featured in the FA Youth Cup this season.

And it was Rovers with all of the ball in the early stages but without ever threatening the Reading goal.

But whilst the visitors grew into the game, it was goalless as the two sides went in at the break.

The match continued to be a close-run contest until the 72nd minute when Rovers took the lead.

Bringing the ball out of defence, Charley Doyle advanced before finding full back Lewis Thompson on the left, and as the defender raced forward his centre picked out Doyle, who had continued his run, and he looped a header into the back of the net.

But despite taking the lead, Rovers failed to capitalise on it and found themselves behind in a matter of minutes.

On 74 Rovers sat off their opponents too much and when Doyle tripped Jamal Balogun in the box Cameron Green converted the resulting penalty.

From the kick-off Rovers lost possession easily and from a quick throw saw Ben House in on goal, but as the home side appealed for offside, the Royals striker fired home.

Rovers were reduced to ten men in the final ten minutes as Pemberton picked up his second yellow card of the match, and although Barr's side threatened late, the visitors made important blocks to claim the win.

"They are as good a team that we've played this season," said Barr. "On the day we lost our discipline too much, and it doesn't suit us.

"I think we self-combusted a little but these are things that we have got to be better with going forward. We really didn't play with any fluency.

"That will probably be the last we'll see of the second years now, so we hope that the first years take on board everything they have seen from the sidelines."

The Under-18s don't have a match for a fortnight now, they are next in play-off action against Chelsea on 22nd April.

ROVERS: Ascroft, Jackson, Thompson, Grayson, Magloire, C. Doyle, Pemberton, Mols, Butterworth, Rankin-Costello (sub Buckley 85 mins), Wright (sub Lynch 83 mins).

Subs not used: Carter, Campbell, Paton.

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