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Liverpool u18s 3 Rovers u18s 0

20 March 2017

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Rovers' Under-18s kicked off their elite play-off group in frustrating fashion with a 3-0 away loss at Liverpool on Saturday.

With a host of players featuring for the Under-23s at Swansea the same day it was a much-changed side that took to the field at Kirkby.

But Billy Barr's young charges went behind inside five minutes when George Johnston fired home, before Curtis Jones doubled the Reds' advantage at the midway point of the half.

Rovers improved after the break, seeing more of the ball, but they never really tested the Liverpool goal and when Jones grabbed his second of the match just past the hour it meant an unsuccessful day on Merseyside for the Blues.

"It was frustrating as we didn't pass the ball as well as we can," said Barr.

"We showed some bravery and we were okay for a period in the second half, but we never carried any real threat.

"But we've gone into the top league having done fantastically well to finish in the top group again.

"But now we are left with the problem that we don't have enough players because of the number of players who have done fantastically well to move up to the Under-23s.

"So it is going to be a learning curve for all of us for how we'll look for next season and we'll try and get more of the Under-16s some game time and hopefully keep pushing them to see if they can improve in these seven games in readiness for next season."

ROVERS: Ascroft, Wright, Paton, Carter, Blackburn, Jackson, Pemberton, Wilson, Lynch, Buckley, Curran.

Subs not used: Barnes, Campbell (GK), Chan, Pike, Brennan.

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