A late goal from the son of former Rovers midfielder Robbie Savage saw Rovers U18s narrowly defeated by table-toppers Manchester United U18s.
After being behind by three at the break, a hat-trick from Australian youth international Zak Gilsenan brought Rovers back into the match, only for Charlie Savage to strike two minutes from time to secure the victory for United U18s.
In the wintry conditions down at Brockhall, it was the visitors who took control of proceedings, and they took the lead in the opening minutes as Charlie McNeill pounced on a defensive error and fired past Felix Goddard.
United continued to dominate proceedings, and after Goddard made a couple of saves to keep it at 1-0, he was eventually beaten again as McNeill latched onto a loose ball inside the box to fire past the Rovers ‘keeper.
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Just four minutes later, it was three for the visitors as Noam Emeran was played through on goal by Dillon Hoogewerf, and the United forward made no mistake to put his side comfortably ahead at the break.
However, Rovers came out ready for the second half, and pulled a goal back from a corner on 52 minutes after Jake Garrett’s inital shot was saved by Guadagno in the United goal, and Gilsenan was there to finish.
At the other end, United had a chance cleared off the line just minutes later, and Rovers capitalised with around 20 minutes left on the clock as Gilsenan finished from Alex Baker’s deflected cross.
And the comeback was completed for Mike Sheron’s young Rovers as Baker was again on hand to provide for Gilsenan as the forward made it 3-3 with ten minutes left on the clock.
Unfortunately, and undeservedly, the visitors scored the seventh – and final – goal of the match as Savage finished from close range.
Despite pressing for an equaliser, Rovers couldn’t find that elusive fourth goal to level the scores again, leaving them with no points to show for their incredible efforts.
Follow our Twitter account dedicated to Rovers’ U23 and U18 sides, where we provide unrivaled coverage on Billy Barr and Mike Sheron’s teams: @academy_rovers.