Manchester City in control for PL2 title following Rovers’ loss at Everton

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Two Everton goals within ten minutes saw Rovers U23s fall their first defeat in six matches on Friday.

Goals from Nathan Broadhead and Charlie Whittaker gave the hosts a two-goal lead, before Sam Burns’ effort halved the lead at the break.

Despite pressure from Rovers, they couldn’t find an equaliser in the second half, falling to only their fourth defeat of the season.

Billy Barr made four changes to the side that drew at home to Brighton last month, with Dan Butterworth, Jordan Eastham, Jake Garrett and Lenni Cirino all coming into the side.

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Rovers started the brighter of the two teams and came close to opening the scoring early on as Cirino’s cross was met by Joe Nolan at the far post, but the midfielder couldn’t direct the ball goalwards.

Sam Barnes then curled goalwards from outside the box. but it bounced off the inside of the post and Burns couldn’t get to the rebound.

Against the run of play, Everton took the lead as Garrett was caught in possession and Josh Bowler played through Broadhead, who fired into the far corner.

The hosts doubled their lead as Whittaker was played through, and his effort was deflected over Eastham.

However, Rovers responded well and replied just five minutes later. as Burns picked the ball up and strode towards goal. His shot was blocked by an Everton man but the ball span backwards and over the goalline, leaving Rovers behind by one at the break.

Rovers came out strong in the second half as Butterworth fired over, before Sam Burns had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out by the linesman.

The hosts had chances of their own in the final thirty minutes as Broadhead was well denied by Eastham, before Rhys Hughes hit the bar from a free-kick.

Burns fired just wide in injury time, before Nolan saw an effort deflected wide, denying Rovers a deserved point as the whistle went.

The result leaves Rovers eight points behind league leaders Manchester City, and are next in action as they take on Liverpool at Leyland on Monday 19 April, kick-off 7pm.

Follow our account dedicated to Rovers’ U23 and U18 sides. All the latest updates, news and match content will be posted there before anywhere else so make sure you’re following: @academy_rovers.

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