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Match Reports

Development Squad Report: Peterborough United 4-4 Rovers

19 March 2019

Match Reports

Development Squad Report: Peterborough United 4-4 Rovers

19 March 2019

A strong second half showing in front of goal allowed the Rovers' Development Squad to overturn a three-goal deficit to pick up a draw away at Peterborough in the Central League.

Rovers were 4-1 down at the halfway stage, but second-half goals from James Spruce, Rhys Kavanagh and Deon Moore secured a superb comeback for the Development Squad.

The teamsheet for the Central League tie resembled a balanced mix of experience and youth, with Adam Smith named in goal for the encounter.

Luke Russe was deployed to do a job at right-back, a position that the youngster is more than comfortable at, while Alfie Kilgour was picked at the heart of the Rovers back four alongside that featured Reading loanee Gabriel Osho and U18's squad member Levi Paul at left back.

Deon Moore and Rhys Kavanagh were tasked with leading the attacking line, supported by the attacking threats in the likes of Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Sam Matthews.

Inside the first 60 seconds, Rovers mustered a chance to register the opening goal. A teasing ball into the mix from Cameron Hargreaves caught the Peterborough backline unprepared, with the delivery swinging inches out of the reaches of Rhys Kavanagh, who had advanced into the area unmarked.

From their first attack, Peterborough did grab the game’s first goal, as a shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off Matthew Stevens, deflecting the ball the opposite way from the diving Adam Smith.

Posh doubled their lead 10 minutes later as a cross from the right crept through the Rovers defence, reaching George Cooper unmarked at the far post, as the forward turned and hit a powerful strike that nestled in the far corner of the net.

Rovers dented the two-goal margin for the home side just ahead of the half-hour mark, as Alfie Kilgour leapt high at the back post to nod a close-range header to give Rovers a way back into the game.

It was from a corner four minutes later that Peterborough to restored their two-goal cushion. The delivery from the right picked out Connor Peters, who had lost his man and was free to drive a header into the ground and out of the reaches of Adam Smith.

As the half time interval approached, Peterborough were able to add a fourth goal, as George Cooper threaded a through ball into the path of Matthew Stevens, who kept his composure to place a finish around Adam Smith.

Following the break, Rovers responded brightly and were awarded a penalty as Deon Moore was hauled to the ground. Theo Widdrington stepped up to take the set-piece and placed his penalty into the bottom corner, but the spot-kick was pushed wide by what was a fine stop from Josh Allen, who was at full-stretch to make the save.

Not disheartened by the penalty miss, Rovers reduced the margin moments later. Substitute James Spruce received the ball 20 yards out from goal and held the ball well to edge closer to goal and once arriving inside the penalty area, the striker found a finish that placed the ball inside far-corner.

Just minutes later, Rovers had another goal to add to the tally to cut the home side's lead further. Rhys Kavanagh placing a finish that crept home thanks to a touch off the post.

Rovers showed patience in their quest for the equaliser and enjoyed the majority of possession as the second half progressed. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist sprang a free-kick into the wall, as Rhys Kavanagh’ low cross bounced just out of reach of the advancing James Spruce at the near post.

The equaliser did arrive with just under twenty minutes to go in the encounter and it came thanks to alert play from Deon Moore.

The striker darted towards a hopeful ball forward from Leigh-Gilchrist and was able to use his pace to arrive at the ball ahead of the onrushing Posh goalkeeper. The striker took a touch to knock the ball around the ‘keeper and slotted home the finish into an unoccupied goal.

There were late chances to win the game for the young Rovers side, as substitute Harry Warwick saw a corner fall into his path, but the striker lifted a first time finish over the target. Cameron Hargreaves fired a left-footed shot wide from twenty yards out in the final moments, as the game ended level.

Rovers XI: Adam Smith, Levi Paul (Connor Jones), Luke Russe, Alfie Kilgour (Tom Mehew), Gabriel Osho, Cameron Hargreaves, Theo Widdrington, Sam Matthews (James Spruce), Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist (Harry Warwick), Deon Moore, Rhys Kavanagh

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