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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

21 October 2019 Venue Staplewood Training Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Southampton PL2
1 - 3
Blackburn Rovers PL2

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Match Previews

Preview: Southampton Under-23s v Rovers Under-23s

A look ahead to tonight's Premier League 2 battle against The Saints on the south coast

21 October 2019

Rovers Under-23s return to Premier League 2 action tonight when they head to Hampshire to take on Southampton's Under-23s

It's been a long wait for Billy Barr's side to have a league game, with the last outing in the competition coming at the end of September away at Derby County.

Barr's boys will have been boosted by the excellent Premier League Cup win against Crystal Palace last week, with a Joe Rankin-Costello brace coming after Harry Chapman's header had levelled in the 3-1 win against The Eagles at Dulwich Hamlet's Champion Hill Stadium.

In terms of team news, Jacob Davenport is expected to be part of the travelling contingent as he continues to get match fitness under his belt.

But fellow first teamer Sam Hart isn't expected to be a member of the party. The left back has a knee injury at the moment which means Lewis Thompson is likely to continue on the left side of the back four.

Another absentee is expected to be Dominic Samuel, whilst Brad Lyons could miss out again following a recent injury that kept him out of the trip to Palace.

Joe Hilton will keep his place and start in goal, whilst Harry Chapman, Stefan Mols and Rankin-Costello are all expected to continue in the side.

The Saints sit a place behind Rovers in the table, level on points, and a win could haul either side into mid-table. 

The clash takes place at Southampton's Staplewood training ground, kick-off 7pm.

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Match Reports

Report: Southampton Under-23s 1-3 Rovers Under-23s

A Dan Butterworth double either side of a Jack Vale strike secures the three points on the south coast

22 October 2019

The damage was done in the first half as Rovers registered a comfortable victory against Southampton's Under-23s at Staplewood Training Centre.

The returning Dan Butterworth netted a brace on his comeback either side of Jack Vale's strike to put Rovers in command going into the half time break.

Home captain Callum Slattery did pull a goal back for The Saints midway through the second half, but that was to only be a consolation for the Hampshire-based outfit, with Rovers running out comfortable winners on the south coast.

Butterworth made his first appearance for a couple of months following a troublesome injury, whilst there was also a first start of the campaign for Ben Paton, who was also on the comeback trail following a long-term absence.

A youthful-looking squad included Under-18s regulars Flavian Boyomo, Dan Pike and Jake Garrett on the bench.

Rovers raced out of the blocks and went ahead inside the opening minute through Butterworth, who took just 14 seconds to make a scoring return to the team. 

Vale robbed Pascal Kpohomou on the right-hand side before setting up Butterworth who confidenty stroked into the back of the net from an acute angle.

Southampton went in search of a quick response, with Slattery curling over from the edge of the box as Radhi Jaidi's side looked to hit back.

But it didn't take Rovers long to double their advantage soon after, with Vale getting in on the act with a smart finish from inside the box.

He got on the end of an Isaac Whitehall cross before taking a touch and emphatically slamming home a volley beyond Jack Bycroft.

That wasn't to be the only volley of the game, and Vale turned provider once more seven minutes later, with his cross perfect for Butterworth to superbly thump an effort into the corner with his unfavoured left foot.

That put Rovers in command at the interval, although Butterworth nearly completed his hat-trick just before the break, with his free kick parried by Bycroft only as far as Sam Burns, who blazed over the upright.

Butterworth's work was done as he was replaced at half time by Jalil Saadi, but the visitors kept the tempo high, and Stefan Mols prodded wide from close range after more great work from Vale up top.

Slattery made things a little nervy from the spot eight minutes after the break as he struck his penalty straight down the middle after he was fouled in the box by Hayden Carter.

Vale, Saadi and Sam Barnes all missed opportunities to add gloss to the scoreline, but Rovers managed to see the game out well and without any further scares and seal an excellent performance with the three points.

It's a second successive 3-1 away victory in a matter of days for Barr's boys, who defeated Crystal Palace by that scoreline in the Premier League Cup on Thursday afternoon.

The most recent result, in Premier League 2, moves the youngsters up to sixth in the league ahead of the trip to Liverpool's Under-23s this weekend.

Southampton Under-23s: Bycroft, Ramsay, Freeman (Hansen, 58), Kpohomouh (Morris, 72), O'Driscoll, Klarer, Slattery (c), Jankewitz, Norton (Brennan, 78), Defise, Mitchell.

Unused substitutes: Scott, Bellis.

Goal: Slattery pen, 53

Booked: Jankewitz, 30, Norton, 30, Slattery, 34

Rovers Under-23s: Hilton, Whitehall, Thompson, Paton, Carter, Barnes, Burns, White, Vale, Butterworth (Saadi, 46), Mols (c).

Unused substitutes: Dowling, Boyomo, Pike, Garrett.

Goals: Butterworth, 1,29, Vale, 22

Booked: Mols, 30.

Referee: Rick Hulme.

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