U-18s reach national final
Bristol Rovers 1
Young (og, 68)
An own goal by Watford’s central defender Alfie Young was all that separated these sides at the Memorial Stadium this evening.
However it was enough to give Rovers victory in this Alliance Youth League Area Final and they will now go forward to meet Carlisle United in the National Final.
After a fairly even first half they got to grips with the conditions, and their opponents, after the break and controlled the second half for long spells.
It was an excellent team effort and, hopefully, the first part of a league and cup double.
There was a cagey opening from both sides in blustery conditions at the Mem.
However with five minutes on the clock the visitors created the first opening and from a short free kick to the right of the area Ryan Hope drove the ball towards goal. Matt Macey blocked the effort before the ball was hacked away to safety.
Rovers first chance arrived after 13 minutes when Pat Keary met Danny Greenslade’s corner from the left but while he was able to get some power behind his effort, it was straight at goalkeeper Dan Wilkes, who saved comfortably.
After a fairly even passage of play, Jamie Lucas went close for Rovers when he latched on to Keary’s headed ball forward. However the striker directed his effort wide of the upright.
Rovers had to make a substitution on the half hour mark when Sam Kamara limped off to be replaced by Laurent Mondo.
Watford’s Chris Dillon and Luke O’Nien both had shots blocked as the half came to an end in which both sides failed to get to grips with the bobbly pitch and strong wind.
The first chance of the second half fell to Rovers, but Dominic Thomas was well wide with a left foot volley.
With Rovers definitely enjoying the better possession, and looking the stronger side, they went close to breaking the deadlock just after the hour mark. Tom Lockyer was fouled just outside the area and
Greenslade’s free kick was curled around the wall and only kept out by a superb save from Wilkes.
Rovers took a deserved lead after 68 minutes and it was another Greenslade free kick that caused the damage. From the right of the area he hit the ball towards the back post and Watford central defender Alfie
Young got to it first but could only direct it past his own goalkeeper.
There was almost a second goal on 75 minutes when, at the end of a flowing move Alefe Santos crossed into the box and Lucas hit a close range effort against the post.
There were no further goals and Rovers comfortably held out to clinch victory.
Rovers: Matt Macey, Josh Southway, Pat Keary, Trey Anderson, Danny Greenslade, Tom Lockyer, Alefe Santos, Dominic Thomas, Shaquille Hunter, Jamie Lucas (Aaron Ward-Baptiste, 82), Sam Kamara (Laurent Mondo, 30).
Substitutes: Connor Finn, Marcus Beauchamp, Chad Douglas
Yellow Card: Macey
Watford: Dan Wilkes, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Josh Dohertyu, Ryan Hope, Alfie Young, Jorell Johnson, Alex Jakubiak, Chris Dillon, Dennon Lewis (Bobson Bawling, 63), Luke O’Nien, Kamaron English (Ollie Cox, 80).
Substitutes: Oliver Crowley, George Byers, Harry Kyprianou