MINEHEAD (0) 0: 6 (3) ROVERS
Doubles from Sam Jones and Bailey Jason-Ryan and singles from Phil Andrew and Tom Mortiboys saw the Under-16s to a second successive clean sheet away win.
Three goals in each half were what a confident Rovers had to show for their 80 minutes of work in North Somerset.
In truth this was an excellent all-round show as young Josh Mclean made his debut for the side who had lost the services of Ollie Ellsworth and then Dan Foweraker, both to injury, whilst the other ‘news signing’ Sam Webber was unavailable.
It’s been all change in this age group at Rovers, but the quality has most certainly not been affected as was shown by a solid show in which the defenders defended, the midfielders worked the ball around well on the long-grassed, but wide open spaces of the Minehead Town pitch, and the strikers were busy throughout. Both subs, Jordan Biss and Ollie Searle, also played their part, Biss in playing a key role in one of the three second half goals, whilst young Searle again showed he is no mug when asked to play a role on the left flank.
This game was won ‘hands-down’ in the middle third where Sam Jones, Owen Buxton and Connor Pengelly had control throughout. Buxton looks made for the central midfield berth whilst Jones stamped his classy authority over the game and young Pengelly was industrious around his two central midfield colleagues. If it was busy and industrious in the middle of the five across the park then the flank workers, Tom Mortiboys on the one side and Phil Andrew on the opposite flank, both played their parts and both scored, rich reward for their contributions.
Efficient and effective in midfield, but water-tight at the back! The imperious Tom Badcott once again lorded over proceedings with another classy 90 minute contribution and he and Ryan Harder have now got through 160 minutes – nearly three hours of football – as a new partnership without a goal being scored against them! Mind you – with some one like ‘safe hands’ Harrison Burton behind them they need not lack confidence! What’s more the ‘third’ player in the back line was new-lad-in Josh Mclean and he made an assured debut on the left of the defensive three.
So that’s the middle and defensive issues sorted – what about the two tasked with front running duties. Bailey Jason-Ryan showed himself to be a real ‘tank’ up top and if tanks are normally cumbersome and heavy, this tank is felt-footed and very mobile! He scored two, could easily have (actually should, have) won two penalties and went close three other times to filling his boots with many more than the two goals he finished with. Mitchell Dart is proving himself to be the team’s Mr Versatile and today he played alongside the centre forward with aplomb. His dead ball / set-piece deliver is now at a high standard and such was his delivery today that he bagged three assist for the six goals.
So there we have hit. Last year’s triple winning team may no longer be with us, but this Rovers Under-16 side look very capable of emulating last season’s historic achievement. Mind you next opponents Wembdon are likely to want to state their intent and look to stop the Rovers juggernaut – that should be some game at Cannington College next Sunday (November 9).