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Central League Report: Development Squad 1-1 Luton Town's U23's

25 September 2018

Cameron Hargreaves second half goal looked set to allow the Development Squad to claim their third successive victory, but a late goal thwarted those hopes, as Luton Town levelled the game in stoppage time.

Cameron Hargraves and Alex Jakubiak both came close to breaking the deadlock in the first half - with perhaps the best opportunity coming from Hargreaves' long-range effort that required a save from Holden in the Luton goal.

Into the second half, Rovers started to increase the emphasis on attacking play, with Deon Moore hitting the post before Cameron Hargreaves burst into the Luton area to grab the first goal of the encounter.

Rovers still looked to add the security of a second goal, with Luke Russe working the goalkeeper with a powerfully struck effort from range, but in the final moments, Aaron Jarvis poked home from close range to level the game, deep into stoppage time.

Rovers named a strong starting XI for the Central League encounter - drafting in a number of first-team players for the fixture, with Rovers’ Development Squad looking to register their third win in succession.

Among the first team players named on the team sheet where both Joe Partington and Joe Martin - with the defensive duo joined in the Rovers backline by Tom Broadbent, Alife Kilgour and Rollin Menayese. 

In attack, the Development could call on the services of Alex Jakubiak, who paired Deon Moore in attack.

During a level opening period, Rovers created the first goal threat through the combination of Joe Partington and Alex Jakubiak. Advancing down the right, Partington crafted a diagonal pass to glide into the path of the advancing striker. With time to look up to measure the options available, Jakubiak opted to drive a shot towards the near post that nestled into the side netting. 

As the first half proceeded there was more chances on goal for Chris Hargreaves' squad, as Cameron Hargreaves tested Holden from twenty-yard with a powerfully struck right-footed attempt.

In the closing stages of the first half, a good demonstration of hold up play by Deon Moore allowed the opportunity for Joe Partington to advance inside from a wide position. The defender darted into the box and fired a shot towards goal that was held by the Luton goalkeeper.

Roves started the second half brightly, as Alex Jakubiak broke free from his marker and hit a low effort towards goal that forced Holden into making a save.

As the hour mark loomed, Rovers again showed more intent in front of goal, as a sweeping cross from Joe Partington caused a host of problems. With the Luton defence only able to half clear the danger, Deon Moore recycled the move and hit a potent attempt towards goal that bounced clean back off the upright.

The upturn in tempo for Rovers soon offered a breakthrough, which came moments after Moore's attempt. Taking advantage of a slack pass in the final third, Cameron Hargreaves ventured on a darting run into the box and managed to hold his nerve to drive a finish that settled into the far corner to mark the first goal of the match.

Rovers managed to assemble a number of chances to extend their lead as the full-time whistle approached. Cameron Ebbutt edged a first-time attempt narrowly wide of the goal frame from the edge of the area.

The substitute again found himself in good position after a piercing through ball from Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist. The striker knocked the ball around the advancing ‘keeper, but couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle.

Deep into stoppage time, Luton managed to level the contest. A delivery from right sprung around the Rovers area before falling to Aaron Jarvis, who poked home past a number of bodies to provide Luton with a dramatic late goal.

Rovers: Adam Smith, Joe Partington (61' Ben Morgan), Joe Martin (61' Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist), Alfie Kilgour, Tom Broadbent (61' Cameron Allen), Rollin Menayese, Cameron Hargreaves, Luke Russe, Connor Jones, Alex Jakubiak (61' Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist), Deon Moore.

Substitutes: Alexis Andre-Jr, Cameron Ebbutt, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, Ben Morgan, Cameron Allen.

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