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Match Reports

U23s report: Wolves 0 Rovers 3

Goals from Tomlinson, Magloire and Nuttall send Johnson's men seven points clear

26 March 2018

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Rovers Under-23s took a significant step towards the Premier League 2 Division 2 title with victory at Wolves on Monday evening.

Willem Tomlinson's superb strike gave the Blues the lead just after the half-hour mark, before Tyler Magloire fired in a second seven minutes into the second half.

Joe Nuttall added a third with 23 minutes remaining, heading home his 20th goal of the season in all competitions to go joint-top of the league's scoring charts.

Ahead of the game, Damien Johnson made two changes from the side which secured a dramatic late win over Southampton last week, with Oliver Byrne and Nuttall among the starters.

And it was the visitors who settled quickest under the lights of Wolves' imposing stadium, enjoying plenty of possession in the early stages.

The first chance of the game fell for Nuttall, following a well-worked corner on five minutes but, after pulling away from his defender, the striker fired over the top.

Wolves began to settle thereafter, but Rovers almost found a way through with quarter of an hour played, as Okera Simmonds got into the box and looked for strike partner Nuttall, but the hosts recovered to clear the danger.

It was a similar story at the other end shortly after, as Magloire lost possession, almost allowing for a Wolves chance, but Lewis Travis got back to cover. 

As the game approached the half-hour mark, Johnson's men threatened through captain Lewis Hardcastle after Wolves failed to clear a corner, but the midfielder saw his powerful 20-yard strike blocked.

At the next attempt, however, Rovers did take the lead. A swift attack looked to have broken down when Travis' cross was cut out, but the ball ended up at Tomlinson's feet, 25 yards from goal, and the midfielder fired low and into the corner.

Rovers weren't done there, and went in search of an immediate second, with Tomlinson again at the heart of the move, but this time his drilled cross narrowly evaded the blue and white shirts racing into the area.

There was time for two more Rovers chances before the break too, as Jack Evans - last week's hero - stood up a cross towards Simmonds, whose header was saved.

Then, as the game entered a minute of added time, birthday boy Joe Grayson so nearly doubled Rovers' lead, but saw his free-kick come back off the woodwork.

After the interval, the visitors continued where they had left off and soon scored a deserved second.

Again, the hosts failed to properly clear their lines, this time from a corner, and Magloire took full advantage, rifling home excellently on the turn from inside the area.

Travis was becoming increasingly influential in midfield, and played a big part as the Blues added a third on 67 minutes.

Racing down the right, the 20-year-old delivered a pin-point cross towards Nuttall, who had the simplest of tasks in nodding in to extend the lead further.

That was to be the striker's final act, as he was replaced by youngster Lewis Thompson, with Under-16 James Connolly also introduced for the closing stages of the game.

With Rovers cruising and content to see the game out, there was little to report in terms of chances as the clock ticked down towards full time.

Monday's impressive win moves Johnson's side seven points clear with just three games left to play, and keeps the title charge well and truly on track.

: Beasley, Ofosu-Ayeh (Lattie 68'), Osbourne, Reymao (Finnie 60'), Goodliffe, John, Hanne, Otasowie (Allan 76'), Samuels, Xavier, Seedorf.

Subs not used: Crabtree, Townsend.

: Byrne, Platt (Barnes 84'), Evans, Travis, Magloire, Grayson, Buckley (Connolly 76'), Hardcastle (c), Nuttall (Thompson 68'), Simmonds, Tomlinson.

Subs not used: Jackson, Albinson.

Booked: Connolly

Goals: Tomlinson (32'), Magloire (52'), Nuttall (67')

Attendance: 178

Photo courtesy of Sam Bagnall (@sambagnallphoto)


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