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Academy

Sheron pleased with a winning opening outing

Zak Gilsenan, Harry Leonard and Harrison Wood all found the net in a convincing friendly win over Huddersfield Town

19 August 2020

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A victory and four goals in Rovers Under-18s' opening pre-season outing ensured boss Mike Sheron was a happy man when reflecting on the emphatic 4-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.

Rovers were 1-0 up by half time, with Zak Gilsenan stroking home a penalty after he was brought down in the box.

A second half brace from Harry Leonard saw Rovers add to their tally, before Harrison Wood's excellent effort rattled in the final goal in the win at Town's Canalside training base in a behind-closed-doors encounter

And Sheron was left chuffed by his side's display, particularly in the second half.

“There were some good elements in the first half, especially from Zak, who put the penalty away really well to give us a good start," Sheron reflected.

“Huddersfield then got on top for the next 20 minutes or so, we had to make one or two good blocks alongside some good saves from Aidan Dowling.

“We made one or two changes at half time, but we controlled the ball a lot better in the second half.

“We had a few attacks that could have got us some more goals, but it was really good to see Harry Leonard come on.

“Harry had a few injuries last season, but he scored two poacher's efforts from three or four yards out, which all strikers have to do.

“The fourth goal was the best goal of the night really. Harrison, a first year scholar, came on, played a neat one-two with Harry and put it into the top corner, which was really pleasing to see from him.

“You could tell they'd been away from playing matches for a while, the first 45 minutes was like hot potato with the ball at times.

“It wasn't as controlled as we'd have liked, but the second half was much better and we dominated."

Aside from the goals and the performance, Sheron also welcomed back Jake Garrett, who returned after a long injury lay-off to play in the first half in Yorkshire.

Rovers have high hopes for the defender, who has represented England at Under-15s and Under-16s level, and secured him with a first professional contract earlier this year, which will keep him at Ewood Park until the summer of 2022.

“We had Jake play 45 minutes after being out for eight or nine months, so we were really pleased for him get through it.

“It will take time and that's something we've all going to understand, it's a process for us that will come with more consistency.

“We had the game last night and it was great, it was like the first day of school again. We all want to get back involved in the games again and it was a really good night from us."

ROVERS: Dowling, Gamble (Montgomery 46), Cirino (Gent 61), Wyatt, Pratt (Gamble 76), Garrett (Pleavin 46), Harlock (Wood 76), Pleavin (Wharton 31), Wood (Gilsenan 31 (Fyles 61)), Lonsdale (Leonard 31 (Cunningham 61)), Gilsenan (Lonsdale 31 (Gilsenan 76)).


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