Academy U18s hit four

November 28, 2018

An own goal, Lewis Clutton and Ollie Hulbert gave the hosts a 3-0 lead at the break, with Luca Hoole adding a spectacular fourth in the second half to round off a dominant performance from the young side.

Rovers immediately started in the ascendancy and could have felt hard done by not have been awarded a penalty in the opening moments, when Clutton weaved through challenges in the box before seemingly being tripped up, but the referee was not convinced.

However that incident was soon an afterthought when Tom Mehew fizzed in low free-kick from the right that nicked off a Newport leg and flew into the bottom corner to give Rovers a lead after just four minutes.

Rovers were completely in control despite a couple of instances in which County got forward, both times crosses in from the right that were well dealt with by Luca Hoole.

The home side were keen for a second and almost got it, again from a set-piece as Scott Isherwood chipped a useful ball into the box that was smartly headed down by Ollie Hulbert for Harry Warwick, the striker’s shot was blocked but fell to No.7 whose strike look destined for the bottom corner but the keeper pulled out a superb save.

24 minutes in and the lead was finally doubled, with Joe Budd getting in down the left and delivering a low cross, Hulbert intelligently dummied for Clutton, who took one touch and finished confidently.

Newport’s likeliest source of a goal seemed to be their number 10, who had several half-chances, one was well blocked, one was sent over the crossbar and the other was well saved down to his left by Harry Thomas-Barker.

Rovers’ top scorer Warwick looked keen to get his goal and almost did just under 10 minutes from the break, controlling in the box and setting to shoot on his left however he was charged down well by a defender.

Just before the break, he went close again, cutting in off the left flank and curling a good effort towards the far corner but it was just inches wide.

The lead was extended on the stroke of half-time, with Hulbert and Warwick breaking away on a two v two, the former with had the ball and looked to play in his striker partner but couldn’t find the pass however it opened up space for Hulbert to fire a great finish beyond the keeper from the edge of the area as Rovers headed in to the break 3-0 up.

After the interval, the visitors enjoyed a decent spell of possession and probably should’ve capitalised on their positive period; Newport’s No.10 once again squandering some good chances.

Thomas-Barker did well to keep his concentration on a fairly uneventful morning, when a good cross came from the left to County’s No.7 at the back post, he struck well but the young stopper was solid and beat the shot away.

Warwick had another opportunity to score from a similar situation that occurred in the first half, as Isherwood won a good knockdown and Warwick only had the keeper to beat, but he couldn’t keep his composure as he volleyed over.

On the hour mark, Rovers had their fourth and it was some individual effort – Hoole received the ball on the right, set himself with a good first touch before driving a superb effort onto the underside of the bar and rebounding into the roof of the net.

Newport’s No.10 kept plugging away in attack but it wasn’t his day despite a good winding run towards the edge of Rovers’ box, his left-footed strike was well hit but just off target.

Shorlty after, Tom Parrinello and Lee Mansell made their first change, with Lucas Tomlinson returning from a long-term injury to replace Budd.

Warwick’s rare off day in front of goal was summed up when he went through one-on-one, with the ball getting away from him slightly he insisted on striking it first time but sliced it off target; not long after he was replaced by Kieron Phillips.

Mansell and Parrinello’s boys had a couple of opportunities to add a fifth with Phillips breaking away down the left, but he was unable to find a man in the middle – it was not to matter as Rovers secured a comfortable victory.

Rovers XI: Harry Thomas-Barker (GK), Scott Isherwood, Levi Paul, Tom Mehew (Mason Raymond, 75′), Luc Noble, Jamie Bremner, Luca Hoole, Lewis Clutton, Ollie Hulbert, Joe Budd (Lucas Tomlinson, 62′), Harry Warwick (Kieran Phillips, 70′).

Unused Subs: Graeme Anderson (GK), Sam Heal.

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