Newport County 2-2 Bristol Rovers
In their final EFL South West Youth Alliance League fixture our Under-18 side played out a 2-2 draw against Newport County.
PDP Coach David Buckwell said; “We knew that a positive result would ensure that we finished in the top half of the league and we would, therefore, be playing the top teams from the South East & South West region for the remainder of the season.
“I think that, on the balance of play, a draw was a fair result. We knew we would be in for a difficult game as Newport have a strong side and the venue for the match was a school football pitch, so considering the recent wet weather it made for a scrappy game so my initial reflection on the game is that I’m happy that everyone came through the game unscathed as we are just beginning to get close to having a full complement of players to choose from.
“Alfie Clarke, Sam Hedges and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist are working hard and getting closer to coming back every day whilst Sam Blake is on track but his injury was more serious.
“We started the game well, but our hosts took the lead from a well-delivered cross. They were in front for only five minutes as the lively Luke Russe made an excellent forward run and his shot rebounded off the goalkeeper presenting Lewis Ellington with a simple tap in.
“I was delighted with the response, but Newport regained the lead as we endured what was probably the worst ten-minute spell of our season towards the end of the half.
“That said, our players responded well after the break and were on the front foot from the restart. Jordan Carey scored the equaliser when he latched on to the end of a good forward pass from goalkeeper Kieran Hodges.
“We had a good spell of pressure after that, but were unable to score a third. It wasn’t to be, though, and Newport also created some late chances so the points were shared on what can only be described as an impossible and dangerous pitch to manage.”
Rovers: Kieran Hodges, Toby Rennie (Josh Brace, 55), Sam Iles, Matt Swan, Josh Bailey, Luke Russe, Lewis Ellington, Jordan Carey (Harrison Chamberlain, 65), James Spruce, Tom Mehew, Tyrone Tucker-Dixon (Dan Lammiman, 80)