Rovers U18s’ FA Youth Cup journey in the 2020-21 season came to an end at the hands of Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.
Mike Sheron’s side reached the semi-finals of last year’s competition, losing against Manchester City in the final four when the fixtures were replayed this season following the pandemic.
However, Rovers couldn’t emulate last season’s success, although they faced a strong Arsenal side, which featured U23 regulars Miguel Azeez and Cătălin Cîrjan.
First half goals from Khayon Edwards, Kido Taylor-Hart and Miguel Azeez – the latter being a strike worthy of praise at any level – saw Rovers face an uphill battle at the break.
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Zak Gilsenan did pull one back after the break to give Rovers hope, but they couldn’t score any further goals, and the defeat was sealed as Brooke Norton-Cuffy scored the Gunners’ fourth.
It will be a disappointing afternoon for the U18s, with the Youth Cup a well-respected tournament at the level, but the defeat come against a strong side and the match will only act as a learning curve for the young Rovers.
Sheron’s side are next in action on Saturday as they make the trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 12pm.
Rovers: Dowling, Haddow, Garrett, Famuyiwa (Duru 79′), Cirino, Pratt, Wood, Harlock, Baker, Gilsenan, Gent
Subs not used: Blease, Weston, Ferguson, Gamble, Wharton, Fyles
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