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Match Report: Rovers U18s 1-3 Portsmouth

5 September 2019

Tom Parrinello's under 18 side fell to defeat against a Portsmouth side unbeaten in the league so far...

An early goal caught Rovers before they had really got going as Portsmouth's number 9 was played through behind the Gas' backline. He took the ball in his stride and rounded Thomas-Barker in the net and stroke home from a tight angle.

As the half-hour mark approached, Portsmouth managed to grab another, as number 9 was once again picked out by a superb through ball. His touch to take the ball down was sublime, setting himself to stroke the ball past the 'keeper for his second of the game.

However, warming into the game, Rovers found a reply through Phillips, tidily finishing a well-worked move to put the home side back in the game.

He arguably should have levelled the scoring just minutes later as Murray raced away down the right side before squaring the ball towards Phillips in the box. As he waited for the ball to arrive to stroke it home, a Portsmouth defender emerged to nip in and block the strike, conceding the corner instead of a goal.

After the break it was Murray who was once again the source of real trouble for Portsmouth, picking the ball up off Budd on the right-hand side and running at his man. He outdid him for pace and unleashed an effort on goal, which needed a hand from the 'keeper to force it wide.

This prompted a real period of dominance for Rovers, controlling most of the possession in the second half and going close through efforts from Phillips and Jenkins.

A wayward free-kick on the 75th minute almost caught out the Portsmouth 'keeper as Heal swung a left-footed strike into the area. It caught the wind and bent towards the goal, requiring the fingertips of the goalie to tip it over.

However, late on, it would be Portsmouth's number 9 who once again struck to put the nail in the coffin, despite Rovers' best efforts in the 2nd half.


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