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Development Squad

PL2: Norwich City 1 Rovers 1

Nuttall on target once more for Rovers

18 September 2017

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Joe Nuttall CameraSport

Rovers' Under-23s maintained their unbeaten start on the road with a hard-working 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Sunday.

Striker Joe Nuttall was the man on target once more, giving Rovers an early lead with his seventh league goal of the season.

However the hosts hit back soon afterwards with Canaries forward Tristan Abrahams firing home emphatically.

Rovers, who ended the match with ten men after Lewis Hardcastle was sent off in injury-time, had the better of the chances to win the match at Carrow Road, but they'll be satisfied to take another point on their travels.

Damien Johnson made one change to the side that had tasted defeat for the first time this campaign last time out against Middlesbrough.

With Joe Grayson serving the first of a three-match ban following his red card at Ewood, it meant a switch from their usual 3-4-3 formation as attacking midfielder Callum Wright came into the side for his first start for the development squad.

Both sides had opportunities in the early exchanges, but it was Rovers who grabbed the opener on 16 minutes.

Lewis Travis continued his fine start to the 2017-18 season with yet another assist, sending over a ball from the right that Nuttall headed home.

However the home side soon hit back in impressive fashion, getting back on level terms just four minutes later.

A long ball forward was played into the path of Abrahams and as the ball bounced up nicely, the striker smashed it into the top corner on the half-volley.

The chances kept on coming for both sides, Travis forced Canaries keeper Paul Jones into saving his swerving effort, before Savvas Mourgos fired wide for the hosts.

However it was Rovers who should have led at the break as a corner found the head of Nuttall, but from close-range he headed over.

The early stages of the second half saw Rovers forced into two changes as Jack Doyle and Willem Tomlinson were replaced by Academy scholars Ben Paton and Jack Buckley for their debuts at this level.

Andy Fisher kept out an effort from Mourgos, whilst Nuttall scooped a chance wide of the mark.

In what was an even contest, it was the Rovers who were carving out the better of the chances created. Nuttall with further opportunities to add to his goal tally, but unable to take them.

There was still time for late drama as Rovers were reduced to 10 men three minutes into added time as captain Hardcastle picked up his second booking of the game. But despite a late penalty shout, the hosts couldn't make the most of their man advantage.

Damien Johnson's side are back in action next Monday night when they host Fulham at the LFA County Ground in Leyland.

ROVERS: Fisher, Travis, J. Doyle (sub Paton 57), Tomlinson (sub Buckley 62), C. Doyle, Platt, Mols, Hardcastle, Nuttall, Wright, Rankin-Costello.

Subs not used: Thomson, Dillon, Vale.

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