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Kick off 11:00 (UK)

10 October 2020 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 11:00 (UK)

Plymouth Argyle U18
2 - 0
Bristol Rovers U18
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Match Reports

Academy Report: Plymouth U18s 2-0 Rovers U18s

12 October 2020

A young Rovers U18's were defeated on Saturday, losing out 2-0 on the road at Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Youth Alliance.

It was a learning opportunity for the young Rovers side, which featured members of the U16's, U15's and U14's sides.

Lead Professional Development Phase Coach, Tom Parrinello, said, "A very youthful U18's faced a long trip to Plymouth looking to continue their run of recent good form aiming to make it five wins on the bounce.

"With 7 scholars injured or unavailable it was a chance for a few of the players from the younger age groups to grab an opportunity and gain some valuable experience being involved in a U18 environment.

"It was a scrappy game in all honesty with lots of long balls and knockdowns which was littered with niggly fouls so neither team could get into any rhythm.

"We expected Plymouth to be extremely direct with the ball and play from back to front very quickly and that's what they did. They flooded forward areas and played forward early with lots of forward runs, and it caused us problems, particularly in the first 20 minutes.

"We struggled to really get a foothold in the game and conceded after 10 mins from the penalty spot.

"Once we finally managed to get to grips with the direct style of the opposition we were then let down in large spells by our quality on the football. We lacked consistency in our build up play and some of our decisions on the ball meant we never really managed to sustain any pressure on the Plymouth goal. We conceded again right on the stroke of half time to go in 2-0 down at the interval.

"The second half followed the same pattern, as Plymouth made it difficult. We managed to create a couple of opportunities to hurt them in the final third but again let down by poor decisions or poor execution of the final pass or cross, which was disappointing.

"The game finished 2-0 and in all honesty, it was a true reflection of how the game went. Overall, it would have been a valuable experience for all of the players involved and the fact that we had such a young squad, and finished the game with two U16's, one U15 and one U14 on the pitch come full time was a massive positive.

"There were also good performances from Henry Njonjo and U16 midfielder Jerry Lawrence which was also a positive.

"The players have been fantastic for some time and with an increased workload and threadbare squad it probably caught up with them for this particular fixture.

"They looked slightly leggy and sluggish in comparison to how they have been recently, which impacted their energy and performance levels. Their attitude and application as always was first class but that has always been the minimum requirement for their performance.

"We fell short on the day in terms of our consistent quality with the ball which of course is going to happen some days, especially at youth level. The encouraging thing again is that they showed resilience to stay in the game as long as possible and didn't let the game go away from them.

"Also very pleasing to finish with such a young group on the pitch, the youngest U18 side we've ever put out in a competitive fixture. With three players permanently up with the U23's squad, the younger players in the programme may well be called upon early and they will play if they show the right characteristics when representing the football club, and that will only benefit them individually longer term by playing U18 football."

Rovers: 1. Jed Ward, 2. Zak Ford, 3. Risuna Mabasa, 4. Henry Njonjo (c), 16. Niall Lovelock, 6. Adam Biss, 18. Jerry Lawrence, 9. Harvey Greenslade, 10. Owen Brain, 11. Josh Jenkins, 14. Matt Reed/

Subs: 21. Airidas Vilinauskas, 17. Jaheim Allen, 12. Taelan Savage, 15. Charlie Perkins.

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