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Match Reports

FAYC Report: Rovers U18s 2 Stoke City U18s 1

Rovers earn progress to Round Four after narrow win at Ewood Park

13 December 2017

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Jack Evans' first half brace secured FA Youth Cup progress for Rovers' U18s against Stoke City U18s at a chilly Ewood Park.

Evans struck twice just before the break to make Billy Barr's half time team talk a little more easier, and despite Stoke pulling a goal back, Rovers held on to make it into Round Four of the competition.

It was a much more accomplished display from the young Rovers, with Stoke reduced to just half chances throughout the game.

It was the visitors who started the better and after just four minutes, a counter attack led to Tyrese Campbell racing through and going one-on-one with Rovers' 'keeper Matthew Campbell, who saved well with his legs.

At the other end, Dan Butterworth beat a couple of players but could only shoot tamely at goal from close range.

Rovers were starting to find their feet in the game and were keeping the ball much better than their opponents, but struggled to find an opening against a stubborn Stoke rearguard.

With five minutes to go to the break, Butterworth slammed a volley over the bar from the edge of the box, but a moment later, Rovers took the lead.

Evans pounced in the box to nip in ahead of his man and punish Stoke for some slack defending to hand the hosts the advantage.

And things got even better for Barr's side as skipper Evans scored just three minutes later to deservedly double Rovers' lead.

Stoke came out of the traps the quickest after the break and pulled a goal back through the impressive Campbell, who tapped home after just six minutes of the second half played.

The visitors were searching for an equaliser and Will Forrester did well to get forward from left back before firing past the post from range.

Rovers were looking dangerous on the counter attack though, and Jack Vale was played through just before the hour, but couldn't get a third goal, with Mitchell Allen denying the winger when through on goal.

The hosts were dealt a blow when Andrew Jackson was forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by Callum Dolan with 25 minutes of the game remaining.

Stoke threw more bodies in a bid to get back into the game, but Rovers held on to ensure a Round Four tie with either Watford or Sunderland, to be played at a time to be confirmed next month.

Rovers: Campbell, Jackson (Dolan, 65), Thompson, Buckley, Jones, Barnes, Vale, Evans (c), Butterworth, Wilson, Paton (Connell, 90).

Unused substitutes: Boyomo, Winterbottom, Khoury.

Goals: Evans, 41, 44.

Booked: Thompson, 82

Stoke City U18s: Allen, Wara, Forrester, Sorensen, Butler (c), Collins, Szereto, Twyford (Da Silva Monteiro, 84), Greenidge, Campbell, Toure.

Unused substitutes: Jennings, Bursik, Diallo, Russo.

Goals: Campbell, 51

Attendance: 252.

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