Rovers Under-18s’ sensational winning streak came to an end, as they were forced to settle for a goalless draw at home to Stoke City.
Mike Sheron’s side had gone into the game on the back of a seven-match winning run in the league, but they were unable to hit the same heights in a hard-fought contest against the Potters, in which both defences came out on top.
In an even opening 45 minutes, Rovers threatened first, as Georgie Gent’s deep cross was side-footed wide by Zak Gilsenan at the back post, before Charlie West teed up Ben Fyles, who fired straight at the Stoke keeper.
The same Rovers duo combined again on 35 minutes, as Weston played the ball into the feet of Fyles inside the box and his turn and shot forced a superb fingertip save from Tommy Simkim.
The visitors grew into the game and worked a couple of openings before the break, with Jack Griffiths twice denied by Felix Goddard in the Rovers goal.
After the interval, Rovers created two gilt-edged chances, but failed to make them count. On 56 minutes, Gilsenan embarked on a superb solo run, skipping past two Stoke players, but Simkim made a superb save low to his left. Then, on 64 minutes, Gent delivered a brilliant ball in from the left, but Joe Ferguson’s shot on the stretch shaved the outside the post.
Rovers were almost made to pay moments later as, from a Stoke corner, a goal-mouth scramble ensued, but George Pratt was perfectly placed to clear a shot off the line, before Goddard made a smart save at point-blank range to keep out the follow-up.
As the game entered the closing stages, Stoke looked the more likely, but substitute Sam Knowles blazed over the bar, before striker Emre Tezgel latched onto a ball over the top, but his looping header over Goddard drifted inches wide of the target.
Just three fixtures remain now for Sheron’s side, starting with a trip to title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday.
ROVERS: Goddard, Ferguson, Famiwuya, Pratt, Gent, Haddow, Nock, Weston (Wood 62), Fyles (Cunningham 76), Gilsenan (Montgomery 84), Baker.
Sub not used: Dowling.