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Fine margins are the difference

Damien Johnson was left frustrated with missed chances and sloppy mistakes against Tottenham Under-23s on Friday night

29 September 2018

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Damien Johnson was left frustrated by mistakes as Rovers Under-23s suffered defeat to Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s at Leyland on Friday night.

Despite an encouraging start, Rovers were 1-0 down after just four minutes thanks to Shayon Harrison's strike, with the striker going on to add another to his own and his team's tally later in the half.

After Dan Butterworth pulled a goal back, the chances were there for Rovers to equalise, most notably through Brad Lyons and then Stefan Mols.

But Rovers were left ruing those missed chances as Paris Maghoma scored just seconds before the half time whistle.

And it was a strike that proved to be a hammer blow for Rovers' hopes of picking up anything against the Londoners, according to Johnson.

“Frustration comes from the goals we conceded as we spoke about not giving them anything. Mistakes ended up costing us for all the goals," the Development Squad chief reflected after the game.

“The lads need to learn from that. You get punished the higher up the leagues you go. Teams have to earn goals and earn opportunities but at the minute they are not having to do that.

“Tottenham are a decent side and one that reacted well after a disappointing result last time out. We have to show that same determination to get back on track."

And those incidents just before half time proved to be decisive, with Lyons being denied when going through one-on-one and then Mols sending a strike over before Maghoma added daylight to the scoreline.

“Within two minutes we had a chance to go 2-2 just before half time and they then go up the other end and score. Those are the fine margins. We weren't as clinical or as tight at the back and the third goal kills us really," Johnson analysed.

“Our decision making wasn't as good as Tottenham's, who were decisive. The goal took the wind out of our sails. We need to capitalise when our opportunities come in future and make sure we're a lot tighter at the back.”


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