Harding's goal gives Development side victory
BRISTOL ROVERS 1
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0
A Mitch Harding goal was all that separated these two teams in a hard fought and entertaining Development game at Rovers' Cribbs Causeway training ground this afternoon.
Rovers made a bright start and enjoyed a great deal of early possession, though they were almost caught out by a swift Brighton counter attack on 11 minutes which ended with Conor Gough diving low to his right
to touch the ball round the post.
Fabian Broghammer was denied a goal on 18 minutes when his close range effort, following Harding's free kick, was save by the Brighton keeper.
Dominic Thomas saw his long range effort comfortably saved, while at the other end Gough made a fine save following another Brighton attack.
The only goal of the game arrived with 37 minutes on the clock when Harding picked up the ball in the centre circle and set off for goal, eventually drilling a low shot into the corner of the net from 20 yards.
Rovers had opportunities to extend their lead at the start of the second half when Harding hit the post with another excellent effort, Harrison saw a shot saved by the keeper and Thomas watched his shot blocked by a visiting defender.
Brighton did enjoy periods of possession in the second half, but seldom troubled Gough and Rovers comfortably held out to register a fine win.
Development Coach Marcus Stewart was delighted with way his team played.
"First and foremost we won and kept a clean sheet and put in a solid display.
"We played really well following a hard training session yesterday and going forward I thought we were very good. We played on the front foot and tried to make things happen, while our movement when we weren't in possession was excellent.
"Mitch Harding scored a very good goal and contributed a lot to the game. He's a team player and had other opportunities to score and set up a chance for Ellis Harrison as well.
"Ellis also did well, as did FabianBroghammer who came through almost another hour.
"He played very well again; he offers us something different and has raw, dynamic, pace that scares defenders to death and we need to get him into our first team as soon as possible because he can make a difference."
Rovers: Conor Gough, Josh Southway, Pat Keary, Pierce Mitchell, Danny Hale (Harrison Trueman, 79), Seanan Clucas, Dominic Thomas (Jamie Lucas, 67), Ryan Broom, Ellis Harrison, Mitch Harding, Fabian Broghammer (Triallist, 57).