Rovers Under-18s made it seven league wins in a row with a comfortable 3-0 triumph at home to Derby County.
Ben Fyles fired the hosts ahead midway through the first half, before Zak Gilsenan created goals for Alex Baker and Jay Haddow after the break, as Rovers continued their incredible run of results in the U18 Premier League.
Rovers made a bright start and could have taken the lead with less than two minutes on the clock, as Haddow’s shot was well saved and trialist Luke Nock headed the resulting Gilsenan corner over the bar.
Derby thought they had opened the scoring against the run of play on 25 minutes when Dubem Eze intercepted George Pratt’s pass and fired home, but he was penalised for a foul.
And Rovers less than a minute later, Rovers did make the breakthrough. Nock picked out Fyles with a long, raking pass and the winger cut infield before unleashing a 25-yard strike that deflected off the defender and looped over the Derby keeper.
The hosts came close to doubling their advantage before the break, as Baker headed Georgie Gent’s cross over the upright and Gilsenan’s super strike just cleared the crossbar.
Baker was then twice denied by the Derby keeper in the early exchanges of the second half, whilst Aidan Dowling saved well to keep out Eze’s strike at the other end.
On 65 minutes, Rovers introduced youngster James Edmondson for his debut and less than two minutes later Mike Sheron’s side added a deserved second. Gilsenan whipped in a free-kick from the left and Baker’s glancing header at the near post found the back of the net.
The young striker came close to scoring a second moments later, but his left-foot shot was well saved and the subsequent corner was cleared off the line.
With Rovers in complete control, a third goal did arrive on 72 minutes, as Gilsenan did brilliantly to beat his marker down the left and his centre was tapped home by Haddow from close range.
From then on, Rovers were determined to keep a clean sheet and they had Dowling to thank for doing that in the 93rd minutes, as the keeper pulled off a superb diving save to keep out Ola Ibrahim’s goal-bound free-kick.
Next up for Rovers is a home game against Stoke City on Tuesday April 27th.
ROVERS: Dowling, Ferguson, Famiwuya, Pratt, Gent, Haddow (Wood 82), Nock, Fyles (Edmondson 65), Gilsenan, Montgomery (Weston 72), Baker.
Subs not used: Chmiel.