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Rovers u18s 3 West Brom u18s 0

23 January 2017

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Rovers' Under-18s kicked off their 2017 league programme in fine style with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

After a goalless first half, Rovers found their goalscoring touch in the second 45 as Callum Wright, Hayden Carter and Daniel Butterworth all found the back of the net to make it a comfortable afternoon for the Academy on Saturday.

The first half at Brockhall was a close-run contest with little between the two sides.

Chances were few and far between as both teams cancelled each other out, but Rovers were grateful for a fine save from Ben Ascroft. The young keeper showing great reactions to get down low to keep out an effort through a crowded penalty area.

Rovers started the second half strongly with Tre Pemberton striking the post moments after the restart, and that set the tone for a strong showing from the home side.

The deadlock was eventually broken just before the hour mark when Wright, who was operating out of position at right back, found himself further forward before tricking his way into the area and firing in to the far corner.

A second goal soon arrived on 67 minutes. Joe Grayson with a corner kick towards the back post to where defender Carter grabbed his first Rovers goal with a fine finish into the opposite corner.

Rovers completed the afternoon with a third with 15 minutes to go thanks to a fine team move. Stefan Mols intercepted the ball on half way before driving forward and threading it through to Butterworth who took a touch before firing across the goalkeeper with a left-footed shot.

"That is three clean sheets on the trot for us now," said Under-18s coach Billy Barr.

"Overall we were really happy with the way we played in the second half.

"We go again tomorrow with an away match at Middlesbrough, it is a big week for us."

ROVERS: Ascroft, Wright, Thompson, Buckley, C. Doyle, Carter, Pemberton, Mols (sub Paton 82 mins), Butterworth (sub Curran 85 mins), Hendry (sub Steer 85 mins), Grayson.

Subs not used: Campbell, Wilson.

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