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FAYC report: Rovers Under-18s 4-1 Arsenal Under-18s

A sensational performance from Mike Sheron's youngsters books a place in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup

6 March 2020

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Rovers produced their best performance in the competition to storm into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a terrific win over Arsenal.

Sam Burns scored in each half to open and end the scoring for Rovers in an excellent display, with second half strikes from the brilliant D'Margio Wright-Phillips and Luke Brennan scoring inbetween.

There was to be a late strike from Mazeed Ogungbo to get the visitors on the scoresheet, but it was only to be a consolation late on for Ken Gillard's outfit.

Rovers began well and worked the first opportunity of the contest on 15 minutes, however Burns could only head over Wright-Phillips' excellent cross from the right.

A moment later and this time it was Brennan who put all the work in down the wing, but this time it was Wright-Phillips who narrowly nodded over from close range.

Another opportunity came and went soon after, with Burns managing to wriggle away from Miguel Azeez in the box before seeing his shot blocked inside the six-yard box.

The hosts were bossing the game and Wright-Phillips was the architect again just after the half hour mark, with his cut back smashed over by Burns.

But Burns made no mistake just seconds later when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box before rifling a strike into the bottom right-hand corner, beyond the dive of Hubert Graczyk.

The frontman went close to doubling his and Rovers' tally with eight minutes to go until the break, but his strike, which was destined for the bottom corner, was deflected just past Graczyk's left-hand post.

After Dan Pike's rasping strike clipped the upright, Mike Sheron's side deservedly doubled their tally 10 minutes into the second half through Wright-Phillips.

The winger darted beyond Mazeed Ogungbo and sent a shot across goal that beat Graczyk and nestled into the bottom corner.

A third goal followed for Sheron's side, and it was a wonderful flowing move that pretty much killed things off.

Jared Harlock's pass was inch-perfect for Brennan to run onto and he made no mistake with a clinical finish into the bottom corner.

The cherry was added to the top of the case with four minutes of normal time remaining when Burns swept home from close range after Wright-Phillips' cross was cleared into his path.

Despite the dominance, Jordan Eastham's clean sheet didn't remain intact, with Ogungbo scored from an acute angle to pull one back in added time, but that wouldn't wipe the smiles off Rovers faces.

Rovers Under-18s: Eastham, Pike, Gent, Whitehall (c), Boyomo, Saadi (Wyatt, 89), Wright-Phillips (Durrant, 90), Harlock, Burns, Gilsenan (Pleavin, 87), Brennan.

Unused substitutes: Dowling, Lonsdale, Cirino, Weston.

Goal: Burns, 34, 86, Wright-Phillips, 55, Brennan, 74, 

Arsenal Under-18s: Graczyk, Oyegoke, Ogungbo, Azeez, Monlouis (Patino, 74), Kirk, Alebiosu, Bandeira (Cirjan, 62), Greenwood, Cottrell (c), Taylor-Hart (Flores, 46).

Goal: Ogungbo, 90

Booked: Azeez, 66

Unused substitutes: Mitchell, Patino, Plange, Matthews, Jeffcott.

Referee: Samuel Barrott.

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