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Report: Rovers Under-18s 1-1 Bolton Wanderers Under-18s

Alex Baker scored for the second time in as many games as Rovers signed off their pre-season preparations with a draw against the Trotters

8 September 2020

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Alex Baker's second half equaliser ensured Rovers Under-18s ended their unbeaten pre-season with a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers at the Rovers Academy.

Having only returned from 16 months out at the weekend and scoring in the emphatic win over Preston North End, Baker emerged off the bench to sweep home after Brandon Lonsdale's cross was dummied by Charlie Weston just before the hour mark.

The goal came 10 minutes after the visitors took the lead through a fine header after a dangerous cross into the box.

Rovers certainly had the chances to earn victory in the game, with Ben Pleavin seeing his strike clip the top of the crossbar before the dangerous Lonsdale volleyed into the side-netting soon after.

The Bolton goalkeeper was in fine form and denied Zak Gilsenan's well struck effort in the dying embers of what was an entertaining encounter.

Speaking after the encounter, Mike Sheron was left pleased enough by his side's creativity and determination to force a way back into the game.

“We’re pleased to get through pre-season and finish with a competitive friendly," the Under-18s chief admitted after the game.

“It wasn’t as fluid or as reliable as we’d have liked, but you have to give credit to Bolton for making it tough for us.

“We were much better in the second half and created lots of chances, and we probably need to be more clinical. It’s our job to make sure we take those chances, becoming more reliable with the final pass and the shot.

“It’s pre-season, we’ve given the lads a lot of credit, but we’re getting to the nitty gritty and it was good to have this sort of game.

“We were short on numbers, we only had three substitutes, one of which was Alex," he added.

“It was great to see him score again, his enthusiasm and determination to succeed is very evident.

“You have to earn the right to play football and Bolton made it tough for us. I’m pleased with how we’ve dealt with the problems thrown at us in pre-season, but there are bigger challenges ahead for us, starting on Saturday.”

Rovers will now be gearing up for their season opener away at Everton on Saturday, kick-off 11am at the Toffees' Finch Farm training base.

Rovers: A. Trialist (Dowling), Wyatt (Harlock), Gamble, Pratt, Cirino, Weston, Pleavin, Wood, Fyles, Gilsenan, Cunningham (Baker).

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