Rovers Under-16s continued their super start to the season with a 3-0 victory over Wembdon at Bridgwater College.
A first half goal from Sam Jones was all that separated the sides at the breaks though Ryan Harder and Mitchell Dart were both a whisker away from also scoring and the home goal keeper made two other fine saves. Not that it was all one-way for the Rovers back three of captain fantastic Tom Badcott, Ryan Harder and the impressive Josh Mclean made sure that only occasionally did the home side get a sight of the Harrison Burton goal, and when they did they found ‘safe-hands’ Harrison in a confident mood.
Where the game was won though has to be in the middle third where manager Clive Jones saw his middle five win that particular battle hands down! Sam Jones was outstanding in the middle of a ‘three’ in central midfield, but the contributions of Owen Buxton and Connor Pengelly, the latter playing a ‘year up’ must not be forgotten. The three worked in tandem superbly not giving the home side time to make any sort of incisive pass, they covered and supported the defensive line and got forward at every opportunity. Ollie Elsworthy and Phil Andrew were tasked with working either flank – the latter again having a wonderful game before a typically brave block tackle ended his game early as he had to be helped off the field – it was not a foul – not even close to one – the home player went in just as strongly and brave Philip got quite a knock for his troubles. Hopefully he’ll not be out for too long! Mitchell Dart joined Bailey Jason-Ryan as the front pairing with Ryan Shrewsberry and Ollie Searle the two subs.
It was young Shrewsbury who got the call 20 minutes in and he made an instant impact, making a right wing run and cross that ended with Sam Jones putting Rovers ahead – and given the earlier chances had that goal made it 3-0 no one in the ground could have complained.There followed for the remainder of the first half as composed a passage of play as this set of lads in Rovers shirts have ever produced – rich praise perhaps – but well deserved nonetheless.
The decisive second goal owed much to the tenacity of Jason-Ryan who was felled 15 minutes into the second half by a challenge from the out-rushing Wembdon gloves man and Ollie Elsworthy set the ball up from the inside right channel some 20-yards from goal and promptly thumped it home!
Wembdon tried to get back into the game, but their best efforts were snuffle dup, either by way of disciplined and organised defending or the safe hands of young Burton who had all his angle spot on in this game to such a degree he never looked like conceding and now the youngster has gone four complete games and over five hours without conceding a goal – though much praise must also got this season’s ‘new look’ back line led by the imperious Tom Badcott.
The third goal came with two minutes remaining when the tenacious Jason-Ryan was rewarded for his hard working, barn-storming shift with the final Rovers goal.