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Development Squad

A game of two halves

An entertaining contest ended all square on Friday night at the Lancashire FA HQ in Leyland

15 February 2020

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Billy Barr felt he saw the good, bad and the ugly from his side in the entertaining 2-2 draw with Southampton's Under-23s at Leyland on Friday night.

A dominant first half display wasn't enough for Rovers, who had to settle for a point in an end-to-end encounter against the Saints at the Lancashire FA HQ.

Ben Paton's wonder-strike deservedly put the hosts ahead midway through the first half, and that was how it stayed going into half time.

The Saints improved after the break and hit back with two goals in as many minutes thanks to Will Ferry and Daniel N'Lundulu.

But Rovers never gave up, and got a point that their efforts deserved when Jack Vale picked himself up off the turf to level from the spot late on.

“I thought Southampton started better than us, but we slowly grew into the gamed missed some unbelievable chances in the first half," Barr reflected.

“In the end it proved to be costly, but I have to give the lads credit for coming back to get a point late on.

“From there, I thought we were the only team looking likely to win it.

“We spoke about things we needed to be better at at half time, but went outside and didn’t do it.

“We gave the ball away too cheaply in the second half and isolated ourselves at times.

“Fair play to Southampton for capitalising on our poor start to the second half.

“We had I think nine Under-18s in the squad though, so that’s a positive for us.

Paton's exquisite drive from range was the real highlight of the game, and Barr admitted it was one to remember for the Canadian midfielder.

“We see Ben produce goals like that every day in training, but it’s just about us getting him in those sort of positions," he added.

“It’s also about him being brave enough to execute the strike.

“If it was on Match of the Day then it would be shown time and time again."

Next up is the final group game in the Premier League Cup, with a clash against Burnley set to be played at Morecambe's Globe Arena on Thursday 20th February, kick-off 1pm.

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