Academy U18 side in Cambridge victory
March 8, 2019
Rovers went behind early in the contest but found a path back into the game thanks to a Ollie Hulbert header in the first-half.
A dominant second half display from the young Rovers side created a steady flow of plausible chances, before substitute Tom Mehew’s deflected shot fired Rovers ahead on the hour mark.
In the closing stages of the fixture, Harry Warwick added the security of a third goal for Rovers, with a confident finish to complete a move started by Lucas Tomlinson.
The first chance of the game presented itself in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Harry Warwick charged down a slack clearance from the Cambridge ‘keeper, with the deflection from the striker bouncing narrowly wide of goal.
It was the visitors that took the lead in the match, as a free-kick from the right hung in the air and wasn’t dealt with by the Rovers backline, as the ball eventually fell for Joe Dearman to force home from close-range.
Rovers responded to the early setback well, as a number of half-chances presented themselves. The best opportunity fell the way of Jamie Bremner, who worked himself free to meet a corner from the right, but a forceful header from the Rovers man was tipped over the crossbar by Louis Chadwick in the Cambridge goal.
Enjoying the majority of the ball, Rovers were patient in breaking down the structured Cambridge defence. A smart step out from the back from Jamie Bremner deceived the visitors and opened up play. Bremner picked out a pass to Hulburt who in turn, slipped a pass to meet the run of Zain Walker, with the winger firing a delivery across the face of goal that didn’t sit for Joe Budd to apply the finish.
A free-kick on the edge of the Cambridge box presented an opportunity for Rovers to test Chadwick from twenty-yards, but the set-piece from Harry Warwick quickly climbed high and wide of the target.
Ten minutes before the break, Dearman had an opportunity to add to his tally, climbing to meet a cross from the right, but directed a header wide of the target.
With minutes remaining in the first half, Rovers did manage to level the contest. The move started as Harry Warwick’s shot took a deflection that saw the effort nudged wide for a corner. From the resulting phase of play, Zain Walker produced a smart turn and shot that bounced back off the underside of the crossbar, as the rebound fell kindly for Ollie Hulbert to direct a header back across goal, which looped into the far corner.
Deep in stoppage time, a weighted pass across the area by Walker ran to feet of Harry Warwick, as the striker saw his first-time attempt pushed wide by the Cambridge ‘keeper.
The momentum was carried on by Rovers after the break, as a neat showing of footwork from Lucas Tomlinson saw the winger cut in from a wide position – but shifting the ball to his left-foot his shot hit a defender, which pulled the velocity out of the attempt.
Moments later, Harry Warwick managed to time a run to meet a pinpoint through pass. With just the ‘keeper to beat, the striker looked to knock the ball around Chadwick, who dived at the feet of the forward to claim the ball.
Warwick didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity to come, as Joe Budd cushioned a ball into the path of the striker – who saw his well-struck attempt from twenty-yards pushed wide.
Further opportunities followed, as Luca Hoole directed a perfectly weighted ball into the mix from wide out right that found Warwick, who couldn’t adjust his body in time to force his header towards the target.
On the hour mark, Rovers managed to convert their chances into a goal, which came courtesy of substitute Tom Mehew – who took down a cross from Lucas Tomlinson and directed a side-footed shot towards goal that was deflected into the roof of the net.
Ahead for the first time in the contest, Rovers had goalkeeper Harry Thomas-Barker to thank for protecting the lead in the minutes that followed- as the Rovers goalkeeper showed good agility to dart backwards to tip a long-range effort over the crossbar
As the game entered the final ten minutes, the U18’s added insurance of a third goal to stretch their cushion to a two-goal lead. The chance was instigated by Lucas Tomlinson, who was able to feed a pass through to Harry Warwick, as the striker emphatically dispatched his finish to help the Rovers 18’s to take all three points on offer.