BLACKBURN Rovers Academy received praise in defeat after they went down 2-1 at U18s Premier League North Group leaders Manchester City.

Trialist Chike Kandi brought David Lowe’s side level in the 51st minute when he reacted quickly after a Jack Doyle free kick was touched on to the post.

But it was City, managed by former Rovers winger Jason Wilcox, who sealed the points with an unstoppable strike.

Rovers coach Lowe said: “The boys played with a lot of commitment and honesty.

“Again it will stand them in good stead for the remainder of this season and next year pitting their wits against the top team in our area at the moment.

“Unfortunately we couldn't create enough chances when we had good possession around their area and paid the price for not blocking their shots from distance.”