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Report: Arsenal Under-23s 0-3 Rovers Under-23s

Rovers make it back-to-back wins with another big win, this time against

13 March 2021

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Sam Burns scored a brace for the second successive game as Rovers earned back-to-back Premier League 2 Division 1 wins with a superb display at Arsenal.

Burns completed his first-half double after Connor McBride had given Rovers the advantage from the spot just before the half-hour mark at Meadow Park.

Having bagged the opener with his 11th of the season, McBride turned creator in getting both assists for Burns to complete the rout.

Having scored a whopping 14 goals in the four games prior to the trip to Boreham Wood, confidence was flowing through the veins of the young Rovers.

But, despite Arsenal sitting in 10th place in the table, Steve Bould included some high-profile figures in his starting XI in the form of Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, who have both been a part of Mikel Arteta's first-team squad this season.

As for Billy Barr, he unsurprisingly named the same side that started the emphatic 5-1 win over Southampton at the beginning of the week.

Despite Sam Barnes being available and returning from suspension following his sending off at Tottenham Hotspur a couple of weeks ago, the defender wasn't named in the squad, with Louie Annesley keeping the armband in Hertfordshire.

Rovers took some time to find their feet in the encounter against a side who inflicted a first defeat on Barr's boys back at the end of 2020.

However, the visitors went in front on 29 minutes when McBride found the back of the net from 12 yards.

The penalty was awarded after a superb run from Lenni Cirino saw the left-back fly forward before getting taken down by Ryan Alebiuousu.

There was never any doubt that McBride would score, with the Scot sending Arthur Okonkwo the wrong way and emphatically blasting the kick into the top corner.

Better was to come for Rovers just five minutes later, and this time it was McBride who turned provider as he robbed Nelson to play in Burns, and the in-form frontman clipped home from inside the box to double his side's advantage.

The perfect half was completed just two minutes before the break through Burns once again, with his downward header from McBride's teasing cross putting Rovers 3-0 up at the interval.

The game was done at that point, and whilst chances were there for both sides in an entertaining second-half showing, Rovers earned the clean sheet to go with the result to keep up the pressure on table-topping Manchester City.

There was also a further positive late on with Georgie Gent appearing for the final eight minutes as he made his Under-23s debut.

Next up for Barr's side is a home clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday 19th March, kick-off 2pm at Leyland.

Arsenal Under-23s: Okonkwo, Alebiuousu, Dinzeyi, Monlouis, Lopez, Taylor-Hart (Akinola, 72), Azeez, Moller, Nelson, Balogun (Lewis, 73), Nketiah

Unused substitutes: Smith, Cirjan, Bola.

Booked: Taylor-Hart, 41, Balogun, 53, Dinzeyi, 72.

Rovers Under-23s: Eastham, Pike, Saadi, Annesley (c), Cirino, Garrett (Harlock, 72), Whitehall, Nolan, Durrant (Baker, 81), McBride (Gent, 82), Burns.

Goals: McBride pen, 29, Burns, 34, 43.

Booked: Annesley, 38, Pike, 62.

Unused substitutes: Dowling, Connolly.

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