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Premier League Cup Match Report: Development Squad 0-2 Cambridge United

15 August 2019

Club News

Premier League Cup Match Report: Development Squad 0-2 Cambridge United

15 August 2019

The Rovers Development Squad exit the Premier League Cup at the qualifying stage, after a narrow defeat at the hands of Cambridge United.

A goal in either half from the visitors was enough to defeat Lee Mansell's Development in the Premier League Cup Qualifying fixture at the Mem.

Cambridge scored the first goal of the contest midway through the first half, forcing home a finish after a goalmouth scramble after Rovers failed to clear the threat from a corner. 

Rovers had plenty of chances, with Deon Moore, Rhys Kavanagh, Cameron Hargreaves and Lucas Tomlinson all going close to providing Rovers with an equalising goal. 

United put the result to bed inside the final twenty minutes, taking advantage of Rovers' commitment to attack, with Jake Battersby finishing off a counter-attack move for the visitors. 

Theo Widdrington had the first notable chance of the game, as the midfielder curled a right-footed attempt high and wide of goal inside the opening five minutes. 

Rovers enjoyed the main spells of possession, as a neat passing move through midfield set Cameron Hargreaves with space to work with inside the box, as the midfielder dummied a shot and worked a cross to the far-post. Deon Moore stretched to get on the end of the delivery, but his close-range header took a deflection and was easily held by the Cambridge 'keeper.

Chances were hard to assemble for both sides, a rushed shot from Rhys Kavanagh came close to testing the Cambridge goal, but the attempt flew wide of the upright.

Somewhat against the run of play, it was the visitors who grabbed the games first goal. The opening came from a corner that swung towards the Rovers goalmouth and commenced a goalmouth scramble, with the ball eventually bundled over the line by Tom Dickens.

A chance to respond came instantly for Rovers, as Deon Moore broke forward and raced to the byeline. The striker did well to hold off his marker and was able to pick out a low delivery across the face of goal that swayed just inches out of the reach of the outstretched leg of Rhys Kavanagh. 

Moore was involved again moments later, as the striker was able to hold the ball up twenty yards out and take advantage of the ample space on the fringe of the area to hit a powerful effort towards goal that had to be pushed around the post by the Cambridge 'keeper. 

With the interval approaching Rovers created two final chances to level the scores ahead of the break. The first came as a set-piece from Widdrington flew to Menayese at the far-post, but the defender couldn't get much purchase on his close-range header and the chance went begging. The second, a much more tangible opportunity came via Lucas Tomlinson, who sprang a well-struck shot narrowly wide of the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

In the first few minutes of the second half, Theo Widdrington drilled a set-piece high and wide of goal from what was an awkward angle on the corner of the Cambridge penalty area.

Chances kept presenting themselves for Rovers, who managed to contain the majority of play in and around the Cambridge half. Deon Moore cut out an opportunity for Cameron Hargreaves minutes after the break, which an inventive flick inside the area. Hargreaves received the ball on the half-volley, but saw his effort fly inches over the bar.

Perhaps the best opportunity came to Moore moments later, as a failed clearance by the Cambridge 'keeper allowed the Rovers striker to advance into the box and aim toward the empty net, only for his goalbound effort to be blocked by the covering defenders. 

Moore's chance sparked a flurry of Rovers opportunities, with Cameron Hargreaves in the thick of the action, as the midfielder was twice denied by the Cambridge goalkeeper, with the second save the most impressive, as a faint fingertip stop proved to be enough to touch Hargreaves' effort over the crossbar.

Again Rovers looked for the equaliser. This time it was Lucas Tomlinson who went close, as the tricky winger latched onto a through ball and went one-on-one with the goalkeeper, only to push his effort wide of goal with the 'keeper seemingly beaten. 

In the closing twenty minutes, Rollin Menayese guided a header off-target from Rovers corner, that perhaps arrived as the defender was already descending from a leap at the far post. 

Cambridge tied up the result on the seventy-minute mark, as a counter-attack forward caught Rovers short at the back, as a squared ball across the Rovers penalty area ran to Jake Battersby to rifle home a finish past van Stappershoef. 

Chasing the game, Rovers looked to reduce the two-goal advantage of the visitors. Rhys Kavanagh saw a low and forcefull effort held by the Cambridge 'keeper, who made another handy stop to clutch an effort from Lucas Tomlinson moments later, after the winger had jinked his way into the area.

Rhys Kavanagh again came close to scoring inside the final ten minutes, as Cameron Hargreaves' cross picked out the forward, who could only glance his header wide of goal.

Rovers: Jordi van Stappershoef, Michael Kelly (65' Scott Isherwood), Rollin Menayese, Harry Hodges, Luca Hoole (78' Zain Walker), Theo Widdrington (78' Harry Warwick), Cameron Hargreaves, Tom Mehew, Lucas Tomlinson, Rhys Kavanagh, Deon Moore, 

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