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Development Squad Come From Behind To Win At Southend United

3 October 2017

Rovers Development Squad came from behind to defeat Southend United in the Central League.

Goals from Rhys Kavanagh and Michael Kelly wrapped up all three points after Norman Webo put the home side in front. 

Chris Hargreaves side started brightly with the first chance of the game coming in the opening seconds as a loose ball dropped to the feet of Luke Russe but the midfielder's effort was deflected into the arms of the keeper. 

Moments later Rovers had the ball in the back of the net as Rhys Kavanagh broke free and calmly lifted the ball over the keeper only to see is effort ruled out for offside. 

For all their early dominance, it was Southend that took the lead on the 15-minute mark. 

Norman Webo received the ball with his back to goal before producing an excellent strike on the turn leaving Alexis Andre Jr with no chance of saving it. 

However, Chris Hargreaves side were not deflated by going a goal down and almost pulled one back instantly following a long throw from Lewis Ison found Alfie Kilgour in the area but the returning Kilgour couldn't hit the target under heavy pressure. 

On the half hour mark Rovers had claims of a penalty turned away by the referee as Mo Baghdadi hit the ground inside the penalty area but was judged to have handled the ball. 

Rovers pulled the game level on the stroke of half time through Rhys Kavanagh.

An ariel ball was flicked onto Cameron Ebbutt who played the ball into the feet of Kavanagh who squared up his defender before calmly curling the ball into the bottom corner of the goal giving the keeper no chance. 

Chris Hargreaves men started the second half as the first finish with a Rhys Kavanagh chance, this time Luke Russe was able to pick out the Welshman who this time fired over the crossbar. 

Rovers continued to dominate and completed the comeback on the hour mark. Following some lovely flowing football the ball was worked to Cameron Ebbutt on the edge of the area who was able to pick out the run of Michael Kelly. 

On the angle, Kelly was able to hit the ball first time low and across the keeper and into the far side netting to give Rovers the lead. 

Kavanagh was a constant threat for Chris Hargreaves side and could have got on the scoresheet again when played through by Sam Blake. The Welshman did the hard work holding off his man before looking for the chip over the top but the keeper was able to recover and scramble the ball away. 

With 15 minutes to go Academy scholar Josh Bailey came on to replace Alfie Kilgour who completed another impressive 75 minutes in his recovery from his injury that he sustained in the GFA Cup last season. 

The Rovers defence was able to sustain some late pressure from the hosts but were able to hold out for a valuable win.

Up next for the Development Squad is a trip to AFC Wimbledon next Tuesday [10th October].

Rovers: Alexis Andre Jr, Sam Blake, Alfie Kilgour (Josh Bailey - 75), Lewis Ison, Michael Kelly; Conor Jones (Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis - 86), Luke Russe, Cameron Hargreaves; Mo Baghdadi (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist - 75), Rhys Kavanagh, Cameron Ebbutt. 

Unused Substitutes: Thom Jonkerman (GK)


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