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Penalty miss the turning point

Billy Barr was left ruing a missed penalty in Rovers' defeat to Everton at the weekend

12 September 2018

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Billy Barr believes Kyle Connell's penalty miss was "a big moment" as Rovers Under-18s suffered a heavy defeat to Everton Under-18s.

The Scottish striker had a chance to level the scores against the Toffees at the weekend after Ellis Simms had given the visitors an early lead.

But it wasn't taken and the Toffees ran out comprehensive 6-0 victors, with Simms hitting four on the day.

And Barr believes had the equaliser found the net then things could well have turned out differently for his side.

"It was a big moment in the game. If he puts that away then it could have gone better for us," the Under-18s' chief reflected.

"We gifted them the first two goals through cheap mistakes, which is very frustrating. We came in at half time 2-0 down and the lads were positive. We had far more possession than Everton and we said the next goal would be huge. 

“We had our chances, Kyle had a couple of them, missing the target on one and then the ‘keeper saved the other one.
“The killer goal for us came with about 20 minutes to go and we went after that. The scoreline looks embarrassing, but people watching will say it wasn’t a 6-0 game. The defensive unit looked tighter earlier in the season but that wasn't the case at the weekend.
“The lads have to go through the good and the bad. We had two outfield second years playing and the score hurt."
But Barr is backing his boys to get back on track soon enough. A trip to Manchester United's Aon Complex awaits the team this weekend and Billy's hoping Rovers can get back to their early season quality.
“The reaction has been good since the Everton defeat. The lads have trained well and we’ve gone through presentations. It’s important to deliver messages to the players," he added.
“It’s not about one game with our lads, it’s about how they play over the course of the two years.
“We went to Man City three weeks ago and got a result, and now we have been given a beating against Everton. We’ve gone from high to low in that period of time and that’s not right.
“We need to get back to the Manchester City performance and away from the Everton display. Consistency is the key for our young lads."

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