YOUTH IS MATCH FOR EX­PE­RI­ENCE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Gareth Evans To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

BRIS­TOL Rovers’ young guns came of age, stay­ing solid to frus­trate an ex­pe­ri­enced Scun­thorpe United line-up and get their sea­son up and run­ning.

The Pi­rates never re­ally looked like scor­ing, with the Iron dom­i­nat­ing up front and in mid­field.

But the way 18-year-old mid­fielder Tom Lock­yer per­formed as a makeshift cen­tre-back, when skip­per Tom Parkes was stretchered off with con­cus­sion af­ter just 17 min­utes, typ­i­fied a dis­play of courage and in­dus­try.

“I couldn’t ask any more of the young play­ers,” said Rovers man­ager John Ward, miss­ing as many as ten mem­bers of his first-team squad be­cause of an hor­rific in­jury list.

“They’ve shown they’ve got no fear, but they are also good play­ers. They take a bit of knock­ing back – I’ll have to pro­tect them at some stage, but hope­fully in two or three weeks we’ll get some play­ers back and I can look af­ter them.

“One or two of them will prob­a­bly say on Mon­day ‘can I have a breather?’ but they prob­a­bly won’t get one.

“Ob­vi­ously you want to win your home games, but by the same to­ken you don’t want to get beat.

“I’m pleased we’re off the mark. That’s the big thing for ev­ery­body, it’s a plus for the play­ers and the sup­port­ers.”

Clear-cut chances were non-ex­is­tent at both ends, but Scun­thorpe dom­i­nated, even if home goal­keeper Steve Milden­hall was rarely called into ac­tion against the club where he spent two months on loan last sea­son. United were most threat­en­ing in the 15 min­utes be­fore half-time, when Sam Win­nall hit the out­side of the post from an an­gle and then had an­other ef­fort cleared off the line by full-back Michael Smith.

Terry Hawkridge, a con­stant threat on the right wing, also struck the wood­work with a crack­ing shot from 30 yards out.

Af­ter the break, vet­eran front man Deon Bur­ton – al­most 20 years the se­nior of the ma­jor­ity of names on the Rovers bench – did test Milden­hall, but the keeper re­acted well to flick his header over the bar.

Sub­sti­tute Mitch Hard­ing, an­other of the Pi­rates’ tal­ented teens, came clos­est for the home side when he fired wide from El­lis Har­ri­son’s pass 11 min­utes from time.

Scun­thorpe boss Brian Laws – who has seen his side pick up four points from their two games – de­scribed the re­sult as a missed op­por­tu­nity, but ac­knowl­edged the ef­fort of their hosts.

“They dug in deep,” he ad­mit­ted. “We had large por­tions of the play and dom­i­nated at times but when you get in the fi­nal third, you’ve got to score.

“We had a few chances and it would have only taken one goal to win it, but we couldn’t get it.We were very or­gan­ised and solid, which gives us a good base to work from.We had to come and take ad­van­tage of Bris­tol Rovers’ prob­lems.”

BRIS­TOL ROVERS: (4-4-1-1): Milden­hall 7, Smith 6, Parkes 6 (San­tos 17 6), McChrys­tal 6, Brown 5, Clark­son 5 (Hard­ing 74 6), Lock­yer 6, Nor­burn 6, Har­ri­son 7, O’Toole 6, Richards 6 Subs not used: Gough, Keary, South­way, Lu­cas

SCUN­THORPE: (4-1-4-1): Slo­combe 6, Ribeiro 6, Mirfin 7, Canavan 7, Nolan 7, Collins 7, Hawkridge 8 (Welsh 79, 5), Spar­row 7, McAl­lis­ter 7, Win­nall 7 (God­den 69 5), Bur­ton 6 (Iwelumo 69 5) Subs not used: Severn, Wa­ter­fall, Howe, Clark

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

READY, AIM: Bris­tol Rovers Eliot Richards gets a shot away

OUCH: Eliot Richards loses out to Niall Canavan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.