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[Archived] News Article -> 2011/12 Pre-Season: Bamber Bridge 2 Rovers Reserves 1

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Bamber Bridge (1) 2 – 1 (1) Rovers Reserves
Jones 37, Mahoney (pen) 74 Hands (pen) 43
Referee: G. Salisbury

After putting seven goals past Kendal Town, in their first outing of the season, a rather young Reserve side came down to earth with a bump at the QED Stadium, Bamber Bridge, on Tuesday night. In truth, Gary Bowyer's youngsters struggled to get to grips with the home side throughout the game and were fortunate not to go behind as early as the ninth minute. Matty Pearson found himself on the wrong side of Alex Porter and fouled the Brig winger in the box. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, but Matthew Urwin spared Pearson's blushes when he dived to his left and palmed Porter's spot kick away.

Urwin's heroics appeared to spark some life into his teammates and for a time the Rovers began to move the ball about with increased confidence. Goulon, with his languid style, gradually began to have more influence in the midfield and was unfortunate to see a fierce shot go narrowly wide. The home side had Osawe well contained, but Jamie Maclaren caused a number of problems with his energetic running and the young Australian was desperately unlucky to see Lee Dovey turn one effort over the bar from almost point-blank range.

The Rovers introduced Reece Hands for the injured Matty Pearson on 35 minutes and within a couple of minutes the home side had taken the lead. It was a simple affair — a straightforward cross from a corner enabled Matty Jones to tower above the visiting defence and power a header into the back of the net.

As half-time approached, the Rovers found an equaliser thanks to a perfectly weighted pass from Goulon that allowed Hands to race into the centre of the penalty area. However, before he could get his shot away, Gavin Clark brought him down. Once again the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Hands, who had scored two penalties for the Under-18s last week, picked himself up and promptly hammered the ball high into the net.

As the second half began, there was an expectation that the superior fitness of the Rovers' youngsters would eventually tell and enable them to go on and win the game. However, it was the home side who took control of the game, thanks largely to the impressive Danny Mahoney, who dominated the play whenever he was on the ball. It was the Brig who began to dominate possession although the Rovers still proved dangerous on the break.

Both sides made a number of changes during the second period, but it was the home side who continued to have the upper hand. With the game entering the final 15 minutes, it was the Brig who edged ahead thanks to another penalty decision. A long ball found Marlow cutting in from the left wing and, as he moved towards goal, Christopher Dilo raced out to meet him and collided with the winger as he fired the ball across the goalmouth. The referee again wasted no time in pointing to the spot and Danny Mahoney coolly sent Dilo the wrong way and slotted the ball home from the spot.

The Rovers could, and should, have escaped with an unlikely draw, but Ryan Edwards fired over from almost point-blank range before John Cass struck a shot against the angle of crossbar and post.

In terms of the coming season there was little to learn from this game with regard to the first team. While there is no doubt that we have some excellent prospects coming through the ranks, the fact remains that many of them are still some way short of being ready for the senior team. However, the Rovers appear to be continuing their policy of fast-tracking players into the Reserves and it will be interesting to see how these youngsters do in the coming months in the newly restructured Premier Reserve League.


Bamber Bridge

Lee Dovey (Danny Woodhead 71); George Bowyer, Luke Atherton (Connor Crossley 71), Matty Jones, Gavin Clark; Ally Waddecar, Matt Mahoney (Josh Draycott 68), Mike Galliers (John Cass 62), Alex Porter (Chris Marlos 53); Danny Mahoney; Greg Johnson (Phil Jackson 62)
Sub not used: Neil Reynolds
Manager: Neil Crowe

Blackburn Rovers Reserves

Matthew Urwin (Christopher Dilo 61); Matty Pearson (Reece Hands 35), Ryan Edwards, Gavin Gunning (Tom Paul 61), Jackson Ramm; Jadan Hall (Micah Evans 61), Robbie Cotton, Daryll Goulon (James Knowles 61), Raheem Hanley; Jamie Maclaren, Osayamen Osawe (Jadan Hall 89)
Coach: Gary Bowyer

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