We ended our year in defeat with a 4-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.
Charlie Gilmour and Zech Medley were handed starts after featuring in the Europa League last Thursday, while Xavier Amaechi made his return from injury.
After losing possession high up the field in the opening minute, Rovers countered in numbers and picked out Brad Lyons, who broke free down the left and fired into the bottom right corner for the opening goal.
The game then went on to take a lively twist with a number of tough tackles and cynical fouls, before Tyreece John-Jules created our first chance with an improvised piece of skill.
The 17-year-old flicked the ball over the head of his marker and fired at goal with a first-time volley, but his driven effort was pushed to safety.
Shortly after Matty Platt headed wide from close range, before Deyan Iliev made a stunning diving save to deny the visitors a second.
Ben Sheaf’s curling free-kick from 25 yards proved to be our best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
We kicked off the second half by playing a number of probing passes in the final third, but just two minutes after the restart, Rovers doubled their advantage.
Lyons received the ball 30 yards from goal, cut inside and fizzed a right-footed effort into the top corner.
We struggled to get going in the second half, and in the 71st minute the visitors scored their third goal of the evening.
Sheaf was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area, with Joe Nuttall making no mistake in converting from 12 yards.
The Rovers forward then went on to score his second of the evening with a simple finish from close range.
WHAT IT MEANS
Our next game is against Brighton and Hove Albion in the PL2 on Monday, January 7.
The game will take place at the Checkatrade.com Stadium with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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