Marcus on draw at Cossham Street
Before making his assessment of tonight’s game against Mangotsfield, assistant manager Marcus Stewart took time out to reflect on previous fixtures at Cossham Street.
“It’s great to come to Mangotsfield, a local club we have played many times in the past and a club we have a great connection with.
“I remember my first pre-season as a pro, when we played here and I scored at both ends in a 1-1 draw. I have good memories of coming here and I’m really pleased that we came here with a group of young lads and triallists tonight and did really well.”
The fact that they fell behind early on didn’t seem to trouble the youngsters and after conceding in the 14th minute they went on to equalise through Dominic Thomas on 39 minutes.
"Yes, we fell behind, but we are trying to create a winning mentality at the club. Even when we are behind we will always strive to get back in the game. No matter how many goals you are behind, you always have to believe there’s a way back.
“Our lads had that belief tonight and deservedly got back on level terms.”
Fitness levels were very high in this young Rovers side and the players are obviously benefitting from one of the toughest pre-season programmes seen at the club in a long while.
“It was pleasing to see how strong players were at the end of the game. However, no amount of training can prepare you for playing a full 90 minutes against a men’s side.
“Many of the side we put out tonight were only 17/18 and 19 years of age and were playing against a team of seasoned pros who were once in their position but who have now played senior football for a number of years.
“In spite of that, I thought that our lads competed and passed the ball well.
“Games such as this are a great education for our first and second year scholars and first year pros. What we are trying to do is make them better players and that’s why it was good to see them compete so well this evening.
“Yes, there were mistakes made, but that will happen with younger players and we are here to help them with their progression.”
Three triallists played a part in tonight’s proceedings, Pierce Mitchell, Chris Jones and Jacob Davidge, and decisions on whether or not they have a future with the club will be taken in the near future.
In the meantime, it is to be hoped that there will be more games like this for the stars of tomorrow.
“These games are good for the younger players.
“We had a tough game down at Yeovil last night and so they didn’t feature again tonight.
“It’s important that we keep our first team fit and, in the meantime, hope that one or two of the younger lads show what they can do and become part of the first team squad.”