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Development Squad

Second half improvement pleases Barr

Goals from Derrick Williams and Ben Brereton earned Rovers a comfortable victory over Derby on Monday

3 February 2020

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Two strikes in the second half ensured Rovers Under-23s earned a victory against Derby County Under-23s at the Rovers Academy, and Billy Barr was thrilled with the response after half time.

Derrick Williams lashed home the opener just before the hour to put Rovers ahead following a lacklustre first half in chilly conditions at Brockhall.

That advantage was doubled by Brereton later on, with the 20-year-old frontman showing fine footwork to produce a solo run and finish to secure the three points.

The triumph shifts Rovers up to seventh in Premier League 2 Division 1, and Barr was content with his team's display against Pat Lyons' charges.

“We tried to play that way in the first half but we couldn’t due to maybe the conditions at times and bad decisions quite a lot of the time," Barr admitted after the encounter.

“That was something we spoke about at half time, just about dominating the ball a little bit more, and credit to them because we did that.

“The first half looked like a team of players that had come together in the morning and hadn’t really worked together.

“We were honest at half time and ultimately it’s them who can solve it. They were the ones who went out for the second half and played the way they did.

“There are games where you get players dropping down, and credit to them for working hard individually and also providing a much better team performance.

Drama arrived prior to Williams' opener, with Joe Hilton saving a spot kick from Jahmal Hector-Ingram after the forward was brought down in the box by Tyler Magloire.

“It was a rash decision from Tyler to try and tackle the man, but Joe came up with a big save from the spot," he admitted.

"We’d been the better team, but a penalty could change the momentum.

“The opener came from nothing really. Derrick swivelled on it and smashed it in really well. That eased the lads, the tension had gone and then we spent the rest of the time in their half.

“We played some good football and maybe could have scored a few more."

Brereton's strike was the most eye-catching moment of the match, and Barr was particularly pleased for the 20-year-old, who took his goal brilliantly and was a willing runner throughout.

“I’m delighted for Ben Brereton to get a goal. It was a really good run and finish from him.

“I hope it gives him a boost. He started really well, with an intent to run behind and work with the other two lads in Jack [Vale] and Dom [Samuel].

“Even without the goal, I felt he worked really well."

Next up for Rovers Under-23s is a Premier League Cup clash against Middlesbrough at Heritage Park on Friday night, kick-off 7pm.

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