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[Archived] News Article -> Reserves Earn Reserve League North Title

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Man United Reserves (0) 1 – 2 (2) Rovers Reserves
Petrucci 64 (pen) Rochina 21, 31

[caption id=attachment_2209" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Reserves with Trophy]Reserves with Trophy[/caption]A young Rovers Reserves side, bolstered by the return of loanees Josh Morris, Jason Lowe and Zak Aley along with the experienced Nikola Kalinic, lifted the Reserve League North title with a hard-earned 2-1 win at Old Trafford last night in the Barclays Premier Reserve League Northern Section play-off final against Manchester United Reserves.

There can be little doubt that the star of the show up to his departure through injury was Ruben Rochina, who scored a brace of goals, one a 25-yard screamer into the top corner. Rochina's ability on the ball, movement and vision caused United real problems and in the end it took an over-the-top challenge by Reece Brown to bring an end to his involvement in the game. Rochina had to be replaced by Micah Evans after sustaining a shoulder injury in the challenge, for which Brown was deservedly booked.

Young right full-back Henley was having a decent game against the experienced Obertan and first-team regular Darren Fletcher was not given the freedom of the park in midfield, where Potts stood out as being a useful player. Having replaced the injured Rochina, Micah Evans showed a great turn of pace bursting through the United defence before shooting narrowly over the bar. Evans then closed down the United keeper and the ball fell to Formica, who, with virtually an open goal, bent the ball wide of the far post.

Formica did look lively, though a little lightweight at times, and one great turn saw him race through and chip the United keeper. Unfortunately the ball just went over the bar.

United got back into the game when Rovers midfielder Parry slid in needlessly to give United a penalty. United's Petrucci made no mistake from the spot. Petrucci looks a most accomplished player and has great passing ability and vision.

Zak Aley, on his return from a spell at Accy Stanley, didn't do much for me. As for the other loanees returning to the fold, Josh Morris came into the game in the second half playing well at left-back, while Jason Lowe did well too against a decent Man U outfit.

At the back, Grant Hanley had a good game as did the whole of the back four, with Bunn solid in goal and making three or four excellent stops.

Rovers won the game by playing as a real team, with all the players working for each other. Indeed, when United had the ball, Rovers quickly got so many bodies behind the ball it made life extremely difficult for them to break down Rovers' defence.

In my opinion, Gary Bowyer set the lads up well and they really responded to him, so well done, lads. It's always good to win at the Theatre of Screams!!

Rovers Reserves now travel to Stamford Bridge on Monday for the final against Reserve League South winners Chelsea to determine who will be crowned this season's Reserve League champions.

Rovers line-up

Bunn, Henley, Morris, Lowe, Hanley ©, Parry, Formica, Potts, Kalinic (Hitchcock 65), Rochina (Evans 53), Aley (Ramm 79)
Subs not used: Kean (gk), Pearson
Manager: Gary Bowyer

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