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Match Reports

FAYC Report: Rovers 1 Gillingham 2

Rovers head out of the competition as missed chances come back to haunt the young Blues

5 December 2018

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Rovers' FA Youth Cup journey is over, after a narrow defeat to Gillingham's Under-18s at a drizzly Ewood Park.

A strike in each half from the visitors put the Kent outfit in command before a fortuitous strike from Luke Brennan gave Rovers hope of a comeback.

However, despite bossing the second half, Rovers missed chances to find an equaliser and head out of the competition in the third round, with Gillingham heading into round four.

It was the visitors who had the first notable attempt of the ensounter, with full back Jack Morrell smashing a 20-yard strike wide of Ben Winterbottom's goal after just six minutes.

At the other end, Sam Burns attempted to lob Gills stopper Joe Walsh, but his flick drifted out for a goal kick rather than nestling in the back of the net.

Roman Campbell curled a free kick wide of the target near the midway point of the half.

But just before the half hour mark, the Gills took the lead from the spot after George Wilson was adjudged to have pushed TJ Bramble in the box.

Up stepped Bramble, to slot home and sent Winterbottom the wrong way.

It wasn't vintage from Rovers in the first 45 minutes and Mike Sheron made a half time change, with Jack Vale entering the action in place of James Connolly.

But just four minutes into the second half it was the visitors who added to their tally in simple style.

After a ball into the bos was cleared off the line, the ball wasn't cleared convincingly, and another hooked cross found the head of the giant Emmanuel Fernandez, who nodded home from close range.

The hosts looked for a response and George Wilson curled a free kick goalwards that Walsh turned away from danger.

That goal did come eight minutes after Fernandez's header as Brennan scored direct from a corner as the ball sailed over Walsh and into the net.

And a moment later Brennan could and should have levelled things up, but he smashed over after Vale's pull back found him with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Brennan again smashed over with 13 minutes remaining as the home side pressed for an equaliser at Ewood.

Substitute Sam Durrant prodded wide in the late stages as Billy Barr's side continued to press, however, despite bossing the second half, time ran out for Rovers, and the FA Youth Cup run ended before it started against a resolute Gills.

Rovers: Winterbottom, Boyomo, Garrett, Connolly (Vale, 46), Barnes (c), Pike, Whitehall, Wilson, Burns (Durrant, 70), Piliukaitis (Baker, 82), Brennan.

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Zimba.

Goal: Brennan, 58

Booked: Wilson, 23, Winterbottom, 50

Gillingham: Walsh, Scarlett, Morrell (Bancroft, 46), Lamb, Sheminant, Fernandez, Arthurs, Bramble, Campbell, Noyelle (Laing, 90), Allen (Blanks, 77).

Unused substitutes: Blanks, Walker, Hards.

Goal: Bramble pen, 28, Fernandez, 50

Booked: Allen, 41, Campbell, 66

Attendance: 224

Referee: Lewis Dawson


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