Rovers U18s suffered a narrow defeat to Chelsea in their opening U18 Premier League Cup fixture at Cobham.
Ryan Kidd’s side started strongly as Georgie Gent had a free-kick tipped over the bar by the Chelsea ‘keeper.
Rovers took the lead after 24 minutes as Jake Batty’s cross was turned into the Chelsea net by defender Somto Boniface.
Harry Leonard then came close to doubling Rovers’ lead soon after as his header was hacked off the line.
We are proudly partnered with sixyardsout.com. Use code RoversChat for 10% off
Chelsea levelled just before the break as Louis Flower weaved his way down the right and found Malik Mothersille, who scuffed his shot past Goddard.
The hosts took the lead within six minutes of the restart as Charlie Olsen’s slip proved pivotal as Ronnie Stutter latched onto the loose ball and fired home.
14 minutes from time, Rovers levelled as Harry Leonard’s goalbound shot was poked home by Evan Cunningham.
However, Chelsea soon reclaimed the lead as Mothersille cut into the box and finished past Goddard.
It got worse from Rovers before the end as Stutter was brought down by Leo Duru as he raced through on goal, and Duru was dismissed as Kidd’s side fell to a narrow defeat.
Despite the loss, it was a positive performance from Rovers against one of the best academies in the world at U18 level.
Rovers return to action this Saturday as they host Newcastle at Brockhall, kick off at 12:30pm.
Rovers U18s: Goddard, Litherland, Olsen, Gent (c), Duru, Weston, Caddick (Chmiel 79′), Batty, Montgomery (Cunningham 54′), Leonard, Wood
Subs: Spinelli, WIlson, Doherty