Four goal Development Squad progress in GFA Cup

October 31, 2018

Chris Hargreaves’ men had to come from behind at Lodge Road, as Lewis Bamford opened the scoring early on for Bristol Manor Farm, with a composed finish when faced with a one-on-one situation with Alexis Andre-Jr.

The Development Squad levelled the tie through Cameron Allen, as the striker found the target with a powerful finish just minutes after Manor Farm’s opening goal.

Rovers edged ahead in the contest through a fine goal from Deon Moore midway through the first half – a move which saw the striker run half of the pitch before producing a finish that darted into the net at the near post.

Just ahead of the break, Rovers added a third – Cameron Allen guiding home a left-footed finish that curled into the bottom corner to provide a healthy advantage for the Development Squad at the break.

Rovers dominated the second half and controlled the contest – adding a fourth goal through Cameron Ebbutt inside the final fifteen minutes to cap an impressive display for the young Rovers side and to book a place in the next stage of the competition.

In naming his side for the GFA Cup tie, Development Squad Manager Chris Hargreaves named an attacking starting XI to face Bristol Manor Farm.

Leading the offensive threat was the trio of Deon Moore, Cameron Ebbutt and Cameron Allen – who were supported by the likes of Cameron Hargreaves, Luke Russe, Connor Jones and Theo Widdrington in the heart of the Rovers midfield.

As the opening stages played out, a long range attempt for Luke Russe was the closest Rovers came to testing the Manor Farm goal, as the midfielder veered an attempt from distance that didn’t keep low enough to find the target.

A lively Manor Farm side took the lead just as the first ten minutes elapsed. Lewis Bamford broke in behind the Rovers defence and rode a challenge from Alfie Kilgour, before converting a low finish past Alexis Andre-Jr to open the scoring.

The lead for Manor Farm was short lived, as Rovers immediately responded at the other end. A quick break saw the ball break to Cameron Allen, as the striker dug out a powerful finish that saw his shot cushion into the far corner from the edge of the area.

The goal sparked a good spell of the contest for Rovers, as Cameron Hargreaves fired just over after a good segment of build-up play from Chris Hargreaves men – with Deon Moore providing the Manor Farm defence with a constant nuisance.

Manor Farm resembled an organised outfit and had chances to score again in the first half, as Troy Simpson forced Alexis Andre-Jr into making a close-range save and a cross from Jay Adams had to be diverted around the upright by the Rovers goalkeeper.

Rovers were clinical with their chances and went ahead in the contest via a fine individual goal from Deon Moore. The striker picked up the ball on the halfway line and ran at speed towards the Manor Farm box, before hitting a powerful shot that crept into the net at the near post.

Just ahead of the halftime whistle, Rovers were able to stretch their lead to a two-goal cushion. Cameron Allen was on hand to add his second goal of the afternoon, as the striker stroked a left-footed curling shot into the bottom corner from just outside the area.

After the interval, there was an early sight on goal for Rovers, as Theo Widdrington arched a cultured effort towards the Manor Farm goal that was held by goalkeeper Ben John.

Rovers still carried a threat on the break as the second half progressed. Deon Moore, who looked energetic throughout the game, was able to use his frame to rid a number of vigorous challenges and break into behind the Manor Farm defence. The striker broke free in a one-on-one with the Manor Farm ‘keeper but glanced his finish into the side netting.

Inside the final half hour, Rovers had partial chances to race further ahead. Cameron Hargreaves showed neat footwork to rush past a number of tackles and progress to into the final third – before the midfielder guided an effort into the hands of the Manor Farm goalkeeper.

The young Rovers side showed maturity in the final stages to protect their lead with little threat on Alexis Andre-Jr’s goal and didn’t rise to the flared tempers of the Manor Farm squad.

The Development Squad added a fourth goal late on – as Cameron Ebbutt executed a smart turn on the edge of the area and followed it up with a well-placed finish.

The victory sets up a tie against Cinderford Town in the next stage of the competition for the Development Squad.

Rovers: Alexis Andre-Jr, Ben Morgan, Rollin Menayese, Alfie Kilgour, Luke Russe, Cameron Hargreaves, Theo Widdrington, Connor Jones (87′ Scott Isherwood), Cameron Allen, Cameron Ebbutt, Deon Moore (73′ Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist).

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