Bristol Rovers 3-0 Oxford United
Goals from Jamie Lucas, Ryan Broom and Dominic Thomas enabled our U-18 side to end their league campaign with an emphatic victory against Oxford United, described by Academy Manager Tom Curtis as probably their best performance of the season.
“It was really pleasing to end with such a positive performance. We had worked really hard, in the build up, on our game plan and how we would combat Oxford’s style of play and the players deserve great credit for sticking to the plan and achieving a great result.”
Victory wasn’t, though, quite good enough to clinch the title as Exeter’s win against Newport saw them crowned as champions with Rovers finishing in second place.
“We should have put things to bed a couple of weeks ago, but slipped up in games against Torquay and Cheltenham and so finished a point off the top spot.
“We are a little bit disappointed by that, especially as there have been one or two problems with the league in that Hereford pulled out quite recently.”
The season has been punctuated by weeks of inactivity, as games have been called off because of the wet weather, teams calling off games at short notice as they have been unable to raise a side, and Hereford’s withdrawal from the league altogether.
“That will change next season when a new games programme is being introduced, that will see us play in excess of 30 games.”
Another pleasing aspect was that some of next season’s scholars were involved in the game.
“Alfie Kilgour, who recently signed his scholarship forms, was in the starting lineup, as was Connor Jones who has been offered a scholarship, though has yet to sign up.
“All three of our substitutes were all under 16 and as it was a positive to be able to give them experience of U-18 football, so we are looking forward to working with them next season.”
Team: Kieran Preston, Alfie Kilgour, Louis Ezwele, Trey Anderson, Harrison Trueman, Ryan Broom, Dominic Thomas, Jay Malpas, Connor Jones (Tom Fry, 60), Donovan Wilson (Elliott Green, 80), Jamie Lucas (Oaklan Buck, 80).