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Report: Rovers Under-23s 0 Everton Under-23s 1

An own goal from Okera Simmonds was the difference in the wind and rain

9 November 2018

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An own goal from Okera Simmonds was the difference on the night in tough conditions at Leyland as Rovers Under-23s suffered a narrow defeat to Everton Under-23s.

Simmonds headed home in the first half to win the Premier League Cup clash for the Toffees in a game of few chances.

The closest Rovers came to scoring was through Jack Vale, who saw Joao Virginia in his way just moments after Simmonds' own goal

A quiet opening to the game finally came to life in the 16th minute when Harry Charsley's cross from the left  was volleyed at goal by Josh Bowler, but Andy Fisher was on hand to beat away the strike.

At the other end, the conditions helped Joe Grayson's inswinging corner cause havoc before Brad Lyons saw his effort hacked off the line.

The chances were beginning to come and Bassala Sambou headed a Denni Adeniran cross onto the outside of the post just before the half hour mark.

Fisher was called into action again with 10 minutes of the half remaining; sensationally tipping away a looping Morgan Feeney header before the Toffees took the lead a moment later.

From the resulting corner, Simmonds inadvertently flicked a header into his own net from the neat post.

Rovers searched for a response, and Joao Virginia in the visitors' goal managed to shovel away a strike from Jack Vale after Simmonds set the Welshman up.

After the break, and with the wind favouring Rovers, it was Everton who went closest early into the half as Sambou curled just past Fisher's left-hand post.

Rovers struggled for momentum and chances, with the closest Damien Johnson's side came to scoring was when an indirect free kick in the Everton box finished with Grayson beating a free kick into the wall.

But with time running out, Rovers nearly fashioned an equaliser as a William Tomlinson corner swirled in the wind and took a slight deflection, but Virginia was there to grab the ball on the line.

Rovers U23s: Fisher, Buckley, Evans, Tomlinson, C. Doyle (Mantack, 90), Grayson (c), Vale (Candlin, 60), Lyons, Simmonds, Butterworth (Saadi, 70), Mols.

Unused substitutes: Byrne, Barnes.

Booked: Lyons, 53

Everton U23s: Virginia, John, Charsley, Markelo, Browning, Feeney (c), Bowler, Adeniran, Sambou (Evans, 67), Broadhead (Astley 81), Gordon (Lavery, 74)

Unused substitutes: Hilton, Mampala.

Goal: Simmonds OG, 35

Booked: Gordon, 74, Charsley, 85

Attendance: 231

Referee: Simon Mather

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