Bristol Rovers U18 v Cheltenham Town U18

10.30am  25 October 2014

Football League Youth Alliance, South West Conference
Bristol Rovers U18 1 Cheltenham Town U18 1 (att 47)

Luckily I'd phoned Bristol Rovers on Friday, otherwise I wouldn't have known that this fixture wasn't being played at their regular Youth Alliance venue for this season, an outside pitch at Hallen FC, but instead at their Golden Hill training ground in Horfield.

I'm not sure if they're now playing all games here or if this was a one-off, but either way it was a new ground for me. When not occupied by Bristol Rovers it's the sports ground of a girls' school, with a small car park, space for several pitches, and a pavilion.

The main pitch was roped off along the one touchline where spectators were permitted, and on small pitches close by some of Rovers' youngest players were involved in seven-a-side matches in front of parents.

Whether any of those children go to to graduate to the under 18s remains to be seen, but based on the game I watched I doubt many of the current under 18 crop, for Rovers or Cheltenham, will step up to their first teams.

Both sides were poor, with too many stray passes and wayward attempts at goal. Cheltenham had the better of the first half, and led 1-0 at half-time. Rovers equalised just three minutes into the second period, and were on top for the second period but couldn't score again.






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