Our academy U18s fall to Bournemouth defeat
January 30, 2018
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Bournemouth raced into a 3-0 lead which they took into the break, leaving Rovers with too much to do in the second half, despite a much improved 45 minutes.
Lucas Tomlinson did manage to pull one back for the hosts with a smart finish early in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to get something from the game.
Despite the loss, the Gas youngsters will still be entering the Merit League after finishing in the top half of the EFL Youth Alliance division.
Tom Parrinello made four changes as Luc Noble and Luca Hoole dropped to the bench, Liam Armstrong moved on loan to Larkhall Atheltic and James Spruce was suspended following his dismissal against Cheltenham Town last week.
In came Graeme Anderson in goal, Matt Swan, Josh Brace and last week’s two-goal super-sub Isiah Crawford.
Tomlinson tried a lucrative effort early on, as he attempted to lob the Bournemouth keeper from 25 yards on the volley but only found the roof of the net.
Moments later the visitors were in front when Rovers failed to clear a corner and the Cherries’ number 11 Jaidon Anthony checked inside on his right foot and bent the ball into the bottom corner.
Tomlinson was involved again, as he tried to get across keeper Nard Calum and get on the end of Josh Brace’s front post cross winning a corner after being denied by the stopper.
However, Rovers youngsters were to go further behind on 17 minutes, with Anthony scoring again as he danced through challenges down the left before slotting the ball under Anderson.
Things got worse for the hosts just under 10 minutes later, when a free kick on the left side was whipped into the back stick and poked home to make it 0-3.
Tomlinson was Rovers’ brightest spark in the first half and showed no signs of fading as it drew to a close, going on a mazy run down the right flank before cutting in and letting fly with a well hit strike that the keeper was equal to.
He did so once again in similar fashion a few moments later after doing well to dispossess a defender, however this time he sliced his shot wide of the mark.
Anderson was still being tested between the sticks and produced a fine save to deny Dinesh Gilella from close-range.
Eight minutes into the second half and Rovers pulled one back, no surprise through Tomlinson who calmly finished into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box after being laid off by Brace.
Tomlinson was keen to add another in quick succession, forcing the Cherries keeper to tip a long-range effort wide of the post.
Shortly after the goal, Parrinello made his first chance, introducing Noble in place of Swan and then his second seven minutes later; Kieran Phillips on for Brace.
Rovers final change was also made with just over a third of the second half remaining, as Hoole replaced Mason Raymond.
Tom Mehew was inches away from reducing the deficit to just one goal, rising highest at a corner to head onto the post.
As the game entered the closing stages, substitute Phillips almost produced a brilliant individual effort, striking at goal from 25 yards and demanding a fine save from Calum to help his side see out a 3-1 victory.
Rovers XI: Graeme Anderson, Scott Isherwood, Alfie Clarke, Tom Mehew, Josh Bailey, Matt Swan (Luc Noble, 58), Josh Brace (Kieran Phillips, 65), Mason Raymond (Luca Hoole, 74), Isiah Crawford, Lucas Tomlinson, Ollie Hulbert.
Unused sub: Harry Thomas-Barker.