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Match Reports

Report: Rovers U23s 2 Norwich City U23s 1

Magloire and Mansell headers ensure Rovers go top of the table with win over the Canaries

26 January 2018

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Two first half headers ensured Rovers went top of the table in Premier League 2, with victory over Norwich City being more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.

Both goals came from sublime deliveries by Joe Grayson, with Tyler Magloire and Lewis Mansell finding the net to ensure Rovers topped the table.

But there was a second half scare, with Louis McIntosh finding the net for Norwich in a feisty clash which resulted in both sides being reduced to ten men come the end of the game.

Damien Johnson made five changes from the side that drew at Middlesbrough last time out, with Matty Platt, Scott Wharton, Lewis Travis, Joe Nuttall and Callum Wright all missing out.

Their replacements were Magloire, Charley Doyle, Connor Thomson, Jack Evans and Mansell for the visit of the Canaries.

It was a strong start to the game from the young Rovers and after just seven minutes, a fine one-two between Joe Rankin-Costello and Willem Tomlinson resulted in the latter seeing his low, curling effort beaten away by Norwich goalkeeper Aston Oxborough.

The opener came just two three minutes later as Joe Grayson's excellent delivery was glanced into the corner by the returning Magloire.

At the other end, Tristan Abrahams did well to cut inside but saw Andy Fisher equal to his drive from just inside the box.

After a swerving shot was saved by Fisher, it took a superb block from Joe Grayson to deny Savvas Mourgos from finding an equaliser.

Just before the half-hour mark and Fisher had to be alert again to deny Joe Crowe after the defender connected with Mourgos' inswinging corner.

Rovers were still looking dangerous though and Oxborough was forced to push away a good strike from Mansell.

From the resulting corner, it was Mansell again involved but he would narrowly head wide of the target after getting on the end of a Grayson corner.

Eight minutes before the break and Rovers grabbed a deserved second goal.

Another wicked delivery from Grayson's left boot saw Mansell rise highest to nod home from close range.

A minute later and the same player almost added a second to his tally, but could only head wide at the near post after another great delivery, this time from Thomson down the right.

It was the Mansell show and some sublime one touch football resulted in the striker smashing inches past the Oxborough's left-hand post.

Glenn Middleton drove comfortably wide of the target on the stroke of half time as Rovers went in comfortable leaders.

Rovers started the second half as they ended the first and Joe Rankin-Costello saw his effort take a deflection before whistling wide just a couple of minutes into the half.

Rankin-Costello scooped over the bar soon after following good play from Mansell and skipper Lewis Hardcastle as the hosts looked to kill the game off.

Middleton's long range effort was comfortably beaten away by Fisher as the Norfolk visitors looked to mount a comeback.

The same player again tested Fisher a moment later, but the Rovers stopper held the attempt.

With 20 minutes remaining, Norwich found a goal back completely out of the blue.

A long punt forward from a free kick by Louis McIntosh saw Fisher caught out and the visitors got themselves on the scoresheet.

Both sides were reduced to ten men as both Tomlinson and Norwich's Joe Crowe were involved in a heated exchange, and the duo picked up their second yellows. Rankin-Costello was also booked.

But Rovers clung on to continue their fine form under the lights at Lancashire FA HQ in Leyland.

Johnson's side are next in action at Fulham on Friday 2nd February - a game in which Darragh Lenihan is expected to return to match action.

Rovers Under-23s: Fisher, C. Doyle, Evans, Tomlinson, Magloire, Grayson, Thomson, Hardcastle (c), Mansell, Rankin-Costello, Butterworth.

Unused substitutes: Thompson, Dillon, Buckley, Paton, Vale.

Goals: Magloire, 10, Mansell, 37

Booked: Magloire, 47, Tomlinson, 61,89, Rankin-Costello, 89.

Sent off: Tomlinson, 89

Norwich Under-23s: Oxborough, Higgs (Barnes, 85), Toffolo (Sambu, 74), Crowe (c), Wallis, Aransibia, Foneu, McIntosh, Abrahams, Mourgos (Power, 74), Middleton.

Unused  substitutesHallett.

Booked: Aransibia, 33 Crowe, 54, 89, Toffolo, 64

Sent off: Crowe, 89

Attendance: 220

Referee: Karl Evans

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