Having lost 4-0 to Bolton Wanderers in August, Rovers’ youngsters had given themselves lots to do.
The 2-0 loss at the weekend to Mansfield Town means their result against Oldham on Saturday, October 9, is redundant as far as Rovers are concerned.
Building up to the game there was a lot of eagerness in the camp to right the wrongs of the Mansfield game from two weeks ago when they lost 4-0 to the Stags in the league.
The game started as more of a battle in midfield with both teams having few sights of goal.
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It eventually sparked to life when Mansfield’s Jack Deakin tapped in from close range as the hosts easily cut through Rovers from a throw-in.
The Stags doubled their lead just after the re-start through what Rovers’ U18s manager Gary McSheffrey described as a “freak” goal.
Luke Chadwick’s powerful clearance came off defender Bobby Faulkner to fly back into Rovers’ net.
Like against Huddersfield the weekend before, Rovers started to get into a rhythm at 2-0 down and have more chances on goal.
Will Hollings left Louie Turner’s post shaking from a thunderous shot, while Corie Cole and Tom Parkinson saw their efforts blocked by a determined Mansfield team who did not want to let their clean sheet go.
McSheffrey was left frustrated that his side started to perform once they went two goals down.
“We didn’t look a threat until we went behind. We finished strong, hitting the post and forcing their goalkeeper into good saves,” he said.
“Let’s show that confidence and composure from kick off. That’s where players go on to make it in the game. You must be able to play when the pressure is on.
“Maybe it’s because the weight is off their shoulders and shackles are off allowing them to start playing.”
The U18s will return to league action when they host Bradford City on Friday at 11am.