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Report: Rovers U18s 2 Watford U18s 0

Confident display from the young Rovers who make easy work of Watford at a drizzly Ewood Park

17 January 2018

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Two first half goals did the damage as Rovers progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with a comfortable victory over a lacklustre Watford at Ewood Park.

Callum Wright's penalty and Dan Butterworth's strike a moment before half time ensured progress for a confident Rovers side who dominated from start to finish, with Watford never threatening and not even having a shot on target.

The cup run goes on for Billy Barr's side, who have now won their last three games in the competition at Ewood Park, and with another home test to come, the side will be confident of progressing further.

Andy Jackson and George Wilson were missing out on the XI that beat Stoke City in the last round and were replaced by Hayden Carter - who skippered the side - and Callum Wright.

It was a positive start from the hosts, who saw Dan Butterworth fire wide of the target after latching onto a Callum Wright ball over the top.

A moment later and Butterworth had another chance, but goalkeeper Jamie Lacy held his attempt from a narrow angle.

Rovers pressure resulted in a deserved goal after Wright played a one-two with Carter and was taken down in the box.

Up stepped Wright who cooly stroked home to hand the hosts the lead by sending Lacy the wrong way.

Rovers were dominant and after Wright smashed wide, Butterworth scored via the post on the stroke of half time after the ball dropped to him in the box.

It was just what Rovers deserved for their play in what was a comfortable first half for Barr's men.

The visitors finally mustered an effort four minutes after the break, but after turning well on the edge of the box, Reece Miller could only fire an inch or two over Matthew Campbell's upright.

Defender Frank Jones nodded over the bar after getting on the end of a right wing cross just before the hour as Rovers hunted more goals.

Centre back partner Sam Barnes somehow skewed a shot over the bar from close range after substitute goalkeeper Dave Burnell spilled Lewis Thompson's deflected effort as Barr's side continued to probe.

With 12 minutes to go Barr made his first change, with Jack Vale heading off and being replaced by Scottish striker Kyle Connell.

Butterworth forced Burnell into action with six minutes to go before substitute George Wilson tried his luck a couple of minutes later.

The impressive Carter dragged wide after pushing up from right back with time running out.

As it was, Rovers ran out comfortable winners and ensured themselves of a place in round five of the competition and a home clash with Nottingham Forest at a date TBC.

Rovers: Campbell, Carter (c), Thompson, Buckley, Jones, Barnes, Vale (Connell, 78), Evans, Butterworth, Wright, Paton.

Unused  substitutes: Winterbottom, Boyomo, Chan.

Goal: Wright (pen) 15, Butterworth, 45

Watford U18s: Lacy (Burnell, 61), Jones, Tricker, Hudson, Empson, Forster, Stray (c), Kaikay (Sesay, 78), Gordon, Miller (Adedeji, 67), Cassidy.

Unused substitutes: Leighton, Cruz Cabrera.

Booked: Kaikay, 44

Attendance: 278


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