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FAYC Report: Rovers U18s 3 Wrexham U18s 1

Rovers produce comeback victory at Ewood Park to progress in the FA Youth Cup

15 November 2017

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Rovers Under-18s came from behind to beat Wrexham 3-1 in the second round of the FA Youth Cup at Ewood Park.

An own goal, a Brad Lynch strike and Dan Butterworth's late finish ensured Rovers' progress into the third round, where they will play host to Stoke City.

The win was hard-fought, especially so after Daniel Stephens' early opener for the visitors, but Rovers looked comfortable throughout and deserved their victory at Ewood Park.

An own goal ensured that Rovers got back on level terms just five minutes prior to Lynch's strike.

Butterworth missed a late penalty, but the striker stroked home to make the scoreline safe just moments later.

It was a strong start to the game from Rovers, who came flying out of the blocks - winger Callum Wright almost giving Billy Barr's side the ideal start to the tie, but he saw his effort cannon off the post inside the opening minute.

Moments later and Jack Vale turned home Andrew Jackson's low right-wing cross, but the flag was up for offside.

Wrexham responded well and Jackson did well to clear off the line for Rovers, with visiting midfielder Jack Thorn ready to pounce at the back post.

But from the resulting corner, Wrexham took the lead - Stephens tapping home after Matthew Campbell could only parry away a downward header.

Despite having the majority of the ball, Rovers struggled to find a way past a disciplined visiting defence and it was Wrexham who went closest to doubling their tally just after the half-hour mark, with Cameron McGregor shooting from range and forcing Campbell into a low save.

But moments later, Rovers did get the equaliser. Wright's strike again hit the post, but fortune favoured Rovers as the ball then hit Ben Barratt and found the back of the net.

The hosts' tails were up and just a minute later Butterworth tried his luck, but saw his strike go over the bar and into the Darwen End.

Rovers got the goal their possession deserved just before the break as Lynch smashed home first time into the roof of the net after Vale's pass was cut out and fell into his path.

The second half began with Butterworth clearing Dane Rigby's goal with a curling free-kick, before the impressive Jackson had to be replaced by Jack Evans after picking up an injury.

Butterworth then headed over from close range 10 minutes into the half as Rovers looked to increase their advantage against the Welsh outfit.

On the hour mark, Lynch missed a golden chance to add a third goal to Rovers' tally as he prodded wide when well placed.

It was turning into a nervy final 15 minutes and Rovers went close in quick succession with Butterworth again and then Wright both forcing Wrexham stopper Rigby into fingertip saves before the danger was cleared on both occasions.

Gloss could have been added to the scoreline after Vale was taken down in the box in the final minute, but Butterworth's penalty was well stopped by Rigby.

However, a fine solo run and finish a few minutes later by the same player made the scoreline comfotable reading for Barr's side.

ROVERS: Campbell, Jackson (Evans 51), Paton, Buckley, Carter (c), Barnes, Vale, Wilson, Butterworth, Lynch (Dolan 73), Wright.
Subs not used: Winterbottom, Thompson, Connell

Goals: Barratt OG (36), Lynch (41), Butterworth (90+2)Booked: Butterworth

WREXHAM: Rigby, Stephens, Williams, Barratt, Beaumont, McHarrie (c), Pilkington (Sargent 51), Burrows Bulkeley 76), Freeman, McGregor (Bickerstaff 85), Thorn.
Subs not used: Kirkham, Allshorn.

Goal: Stephens (8)

Attendance: 338

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