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Development Squad

PL2 Report: Newcastle Utd 1 Rovers 2

18 February 2017

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Rovers' Under-23s made it five wins on the trot with an impressive 2-1 away victory over Newcastle United on Friday afternoon.

Damien Johnson's side recovered well from going behind with a goal in each half from in-form striker Daniel Butterworth to clinch the points.

An older and more experienced Magpies started the match the stronger, goalkeeper Josh Powell having to make an early save to keep them at bay.

But Rovers grew into the game but without ever testing Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.

However on 28 minutes it was the home side who grabbed the opening goal. They worked the ball well up to the edge of the area before Yasin Ben El-Mhanni fired home with a left-foot finish.

But just two minutes later Rovers were back on level terms. Excellent anticipation from Lewis Hardcastle saw the midfielder intercept the ball and he fed it to Butterworth who bent it into the top corner of the goal. A fine finish.

Rovers ended the first half strongly, unfortunate not to go in at the break in front.

The development squad continued the second half in the same manner, Butterworth and Hardcastle both seeing shots saved by Elliot, and on 71 their play was rewarded with a superb second goal.

Pressing the Magpies high up the field a sliced clearance felt to Butterworth 25-yards and the sharp-shooter emphatically found the back of the net with a low strike into the corner.

The hosts were then reduced to ten men when defender Stuart Findley saw red for two bookable offences, but that only served to urge the Magpies on and Rovers had to withstand some late pressure.

But a strong defensive display meant Powell had little to do in goal, ensuring Rovers saw out the remaining minutes to make it five wins in a row and up to sixth in the Premier League 2 table.

"We were as young as we've played this season but we did really well," said Johnson.

"The players who came in all played really well and the amount of effort that the lads put in was terrific. I'm really, really pleased it was terrific performance throughout

"We always looked a threat and despite going behind I was really pleased with our response. We stuck to our game plan and Danny has scored two fantastic goals.

"We need to continue that on now until the end of the season."

ROVERS: Powell, Travis, J. Doyle, Grayson, Magloire, C. Doyle, Mols, Hardcastle, Mansell, Butterworth (sub Pemberton 90+4 mins), Rankin-Costello.

Subs not used: Jackson, Campbell (GK), Thompson, Hendry.

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