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Match Reports

Report: Rovers U18s 0-2 Chelsea U18s

Two second half goals ensured Rovers suffered a narrow defeat to Chelsea at the Rovers Academy

30 September 2019

Two second half goals saw Rovers U18s' Premier League Cup campaign get off to a frustrating start against Chelsea at the Academy.

Marcel Lewis and Sam McClelland produced the goods for the Londoners in tough conditions at the Academy base in Brockhall Village.

Rovers had the ball early in the back of the net early on, but Chanka Zimba was adjudged to be in an offside position when heading home from close range after Sam Burns' strike was parried by Ethan Wady.

James Connolly headed Isaac Whitehall's corner just over the upright as Rovers continued to press for the opener on home turf.

Mike Sheron's side were looking the most likely to score, but Zimba lashed just wide after a neat flick into his path from Jalil Saadi at the midway point of the first half.

Chelsea did manage to muster an attempt, but Dion Rankine's effort flew past Jordan Eastham's right-hand post after the winger cut in from the byline, as the score remained 0-0 going into the break.

Midfield playmaker Lewis Bate tested Eastham after the interval, with the Rovers goalkeeper denying the 16-year-old after a fine short corner routine by The Blues.

But with the next opportunity came the first goal of the contest, and it arrived in superb fashion. Lewis' 20-yard free kick clipped Eastham's post before nestling into the back of the net to hand the visitors the advantage just seven minutes into the second half.

That lead was doubled 19 minutes later, with McClelland rose highest to beat Eastham to the ball and nod home to really put Chelsea in command.

Rovers had to respond, and they almost did, with Whitehall's free kick going an inch or two over Wady's crossbar as time ticked down.

Rovers are next in Premier League Cup action on Saturday 26th October, when Sheron's side take on Arsenal Under-18s at Shenley Training Centre, kick-off 11am.

Rovers U18s: Eastham, Ferguson (Cirino, 46), Connolly, Boyomo, Pike, Burns, Whitehall, Garrett, Brennan, Zimba (Gilsenan, 70), Saadi (Durrant, 75)

Unused substitutes: Dowling, Pleavin.

Chelsea U18s: Wady, Clark, Wiggett, McClelland, Aina (Brooking, 77), Bate, Ekwah, Haigh (Vale, 69), Lewis, Rankine (Iling, 87), Broja.

Unused substitutes: Asew, Elliott.


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