Development squad in 2-0 win at Cheddar
July 8, 2018
Chris Hargreaves’ side registered a two-nil win at Cheddar to begin their preparations for the 2018/19 campaign on a positive note.
In the sunshine in Somerset, the Development Squad fielded a starting eleven that contained a mixture of trialists and members of the title-winning Central League squad from last season’s campaign.
New signing Theo Widdrington slotted straight into the line-up and was paired with Connor Jones in the heart of the Rovers midfield, while Alexis Andre-Jr started the game between the posts.
The game began with a Chris Hargreaves’ side implementing their shape on the expansive playing surface. Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges, but Rovers enjoyed the fair share of possession across the opening forty-five minutes.
The first real chance came from an imaginative corner routine from Connor Jones, which saw the set-piece find Theo Widdrington lurking deep outside the Cheddar area. Widdrington set himself to shoot, producing an effort that had to be pushed around the post, in what was a fine save by the Cheddar goalkeeper.
Rovers had a let off of their own during the first half, as a ball to the far post was headed back into a dangerous location inside the Rovers penalty area. Sensing the danger, Alexis Andre-Jr rushed off his line to close down the angle to goal, which resulted in the Cheddar forward firing wide from close-range.
At the break, Chris Hargreaves implemented a number of changes to maximise game time for the squad. Liam Armstrong started the second half in goals, as Cameron Hargreaves and James Spruce were also introduced, as well as a number of trialists.
The deadlock was broken minutes into the second half, as a long ball pumped forward reached one of the trialists for Rovers that was introduced at the break. The home side appealed for an offside flag that never came, as the striker touched the bouncing ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to open the scoring.
Chances kept arriving for the Development Squad, as Josh Bailey saw his goalbound attempt from a corner deflected clear off the line, as the trialist operating on the left wing saw a speculative lobbed effort bounce back off the post.
Rovers managed the game well as the clock ticked down, still enjoying possession and were able to deal with any endeavour from the hosts, adding the security of a second goal as another of today’s trialists found the net with a strike from the edge of the box, profiting from being in the right place to fire home following a cleared corner.
Rovers: Alexis Andre-Jr (45′ Liam Armstrong), Josh Bailey, Ben Morgan, Alfie Clarke (45′ Trialist), Trialist, Connor Jones (45′ Cameron Hargreaves), Theo Widdrington (42′ Luke Russe) Trialist, Cameron Ebbutt (45′ James Spruce), Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Goals: Trialist 48′, Trialist 87′.