FA Youth Cup

Bristol Rovers 1-1 Forest Green

(Bristol Rovers win 3-1 on penalties)

BRISTOL ROVERS held their nerve to beat Forest Green on penalties at The Memorial Stadium.

Jordan Stevens had pulled the hosts level in the first half from the penalty spot but was one of three to see a spot kick saved after the game ended 1-1 after extra-time.

The home side had the first real opportunity of the game after nine minutes as Josh Bailey headed a corner towards goal. If not for Kai Stubbs, FGR would have found themselves a goal down, the striker heading clear from the goal-line.

Forest Green’s first chance came after 26 minutes as a quick Declan Lehmann kick found Stevens down the right-hand side but his lobbed effort bounced narrowly wide of the far post.

Bristol Rovers should have taken the lead just two minutes later as James Spruce’s cut-back found Josh Brace, but he blazed over with just Lehmann to beat.

The home side would, however, take the lead after 34 minutes as, following a corner, the ball bounced off the base of the post and Jordan Carey tapped home.

The Bristol side’s lead didn’t last long though as Taylor Marsh was taken down inside the box three minutes later and Stevens calmly dispatched the penalty to even up the scores.

On the hour mark, Spruce worked some space for himself on the edge of the FGR box before opening up and firing wide of the far post.

In the Rovers’ goal, Lehmann produced an unbelievable save after 73 minutes to deny Harrison Chamberlain at the near post before, six minutes later, he produced another exceptional stop, this time to deny James Spruce from inside the box.

As the game progressed into extra time, Jesse Mansaray tried his luck from the edge of the area but his shot was comfortably collected by Liam Armstrong.

FGR started the second half of extra-time brightly and Lewis Spurrier soon made space for himself on the edge of the area, before firing at goal and almost finding the far top corner.

Stevens then tried his luck with two minutes to play, but once again, Armstrong was equal to it.

Penalties followed and Armstrong produced three good saves to deny FGR a place in the next round as the hosts ran out 3-1 victors in the shoot-out.

Bristol Rovers U18s XI: Liam Armstrong, Matt Swan, Alfie Clarke, Tom Mahew, Josh Bailey, Lewis Clutton, Josh Brace, James Spruce, Harry Warwick, Lucas Tomlinson, Jordan Carey.

FGR U18s XI: Declan Lehmann, William Turner, Jacob Waddington (Luke Curtis 111'), Nathan Trueman, William Davidson, Alex Hallett, Jay Malshankskyj, Jordan Stevens, Kai Stubbs (Chris Pindi 86’), Lewis Spurrier, Taylor Marsh (Jesse Mansaray 61’).

FGR Unused Subs: Matt Tilley, Fred Porter