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Everton u18s 0 Rovers u18s 2

13 February 2017

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Rovers' Under-18s secured their place in the end of season elite play-off group with a 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday.

Tre Pemberton opened the scoring for Billy Barr's side with a first half strike before Daniel Butterworth wrapped up the points late on to secure a top-four finish with two games left to play.

It was the Toffees who started the stronger at Finch Farm, forcing a series of corners in the early exchanges, but as the half wore on Rovers grew into their surroundings, impressing with their passing play.

The young Rovers continued to force the pace and at the midway point of the half they got their reward with a wonderfully worked goal.

Claiming possession inside his own half, Pemberton raced upfield, forward Butterworth took the defender away with an intelligent run and that allowed the tricky winger to advance into the box before toe-poking the ball into the corner of the net.

Rovers continued to create good openings as Butterworth and Callum Hendry both saw efforts saved, at half-time they could have lead by a greater margin.

And the start of the second half saw Rovers threaten once more, Charley Doyle inches away from connecting with a dangerous cross from Butterworth.

But despite that bright passage of play it was the hosts who could have got back on level terms. A long ball upfield was flicked on but as the Everton forward went through on goal, Matty Campbell made an excellent save.

The closing stages saw Rovers threaten with Tyler Magloire denied, but the points were secured two minutes from time with a fine second goal.

With the Toffees pressing upfield they were hit on the break. Stefan Mols brought the ball forward before threading it through to Butterworth and the Rovers top scorer cooly clipped it over the advancing keeper.

"I'm pleased for the lads," said U18s coach Billy Barr. "A lot of hard work has gone into them from everybody at the academy.

"They've responded in the right way, they never know when they are beaten. They work tirelessly.

"We've not conceded many goals and we have a striker in Dan Butterworth that can get something out of nothing. It has been a really good season for him and quite a few of them.

"We crept over the line last year to reach the top four, but this year we've done it with two games to spare.

"A few of these lads could feature for the Under-23s at Newcastle on Friday, so that will give opportunities for some of the younger lads against Manchester United at Brockhall on Saturday."

ROVERS: Campbell, Jackson, Thompson, Wright (sub Evans 78 mins), C. Doyle, Magloire, Pemberton, Mols, Butterworth, Hendry (sub Curran 86 mins), Grayson.

Subs not used: Paton, Buckley, Makinson.

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