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Report: Rovers U23s 2 Southport 0

Nuttall's brace is the difference as Rovers Under-23s secure a comfortable win against their non-league opponents

28 July 2019

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A brace from Joe Nuttall secured a comfortable victory for Rovers Under-23s against Southport at the Rovers Academy earlier today.

The striker scored his double in the second half, with the opener a cracking free kick that beat a former team-mate in the form of Southport stopper Charlie Albinson.

Another ex-Rover in Jack Doyle also started for The Sandgrounders against a strong home side who included the likes of Harry Chapman and Dominic Samuel, who played his first game in almost a year out through injury.

Samuel's last outing came in August 2018 against former club Reading, with the striker picking up a knee injury against The Royals at Ewood Park.

Today's clash was a good workout for Tony Carss' outfit, who bossed the game and were unlucky not to take a lead into the break, with only good goalkeeping from Albinson denying the likes of Chapman, Nuttall and Samuel from handing Rovers the first half advantage.

The hosts kept the tempo up in the second half, with Nuttall's pinpoint free kick finding the net just three minutes after the break.

The forward put the ball over the wall and back down again before clipping the post and nestling into the back of the net, giving Albinson no chance.

Soon after and a well worked move down the left nearly earned Rovers a quickfire second goal, but Dan Butterworth cracked the upright after being picked out by Lewis Thompson's low cross from the left.

The chances continued to arrive for the youngster, with Albinson showing brave reactions to deny Chapman on two occasions shortly before the hour, before Brad Lyons saw his effort shoot past the post.

But Rovers did get the second goal that their play deserved, with Chapman again involved in the move. The winger's shot looked to be heading in, before Nuttall got something on the drive to tap home.

And that was to be the last of the action, with the home side rarely troubled against the Merseysiders.

The Development Squad are next in action on Wednesday 31st July against Lancaster City at Giant Axe, kick-off 7pm.

Rovers: Fisher (Hilton, 60), Annesley (Jackson, 70), Platt (Barnes, 65), Magloire, Thompson, White (Saadi, 85), Lyons (Vale, 62), Chapman, Samuel (Mols, 46), Butterworth, Nuttall.

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