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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

2-3
07 December 2020 Venue Leyland County Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Blackburn Rovers PL2
2 - 3
FT
Tottenham Hotspur PL2

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Match Previews

Preview: Rovers Under-23s v Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s

A look ahead to this evening's Premier League 2 Division 1 clash against the north Londoners

7 December 2020

The carrot is there and waiting for Rovers Under-23s, who know a win this evening against Tottenham Hotspur will send them to the top of Premier League 2 Division 1.

Unbeaten in their last two games, there was to be late disappointment for Rovers last time out, with Everton earning a draw at Leyland at the end of last month.

Back on home turf for this evening's contest, Billy Barr's outfit fill hope for better fortunes at the County Ground this time around.

With the first team in action on Wednesday night and with defensive issues to contend with, it remains to be seen who is utilised for the Development Squad for tonight's clash.

Having scored against Everton in the last fixture, Brad Lyons is expected to keep his place in the team later today, whilst Jordan Eastham should continue in goal.

However, injuries will prevent Jack Vale and Ben Paton from featuring, whilst Dan Butterworth remains a little way off a return to action.

As for Spurs, the Londoners come into this game just three points above the relegation zone in the division.

Wayne Burnett's charges also aren't in the best of form, with three successive defeats ahead of tonight's encounter at Leyland.

Their last outing saw a 5-1 home loss to Leicester City, with former Rover Callum Wright scoring a brace in that emphatic win for the Foxes.

Experienced England international Danny Rose played in that game and could once again get minutes under his belt should he be selected in the matchday squad this evening.

Kick-off is at 7pm at the County Ground in Leyland. 

Fans are reminded that there will be no access to the ground, with the game played behind closed doors at this time.

Fans can follow the action via our social media channels.

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers Under-23s 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s

Rovers suffer a home defeat to the Londoners, with second half strikes from Brad Lyons and Sam Durrant not enough

7 December 2020

A disappointing first half display proved to be Rovers' undoing as Billy Barr's side missed the chance to go top of Premier League 2 Division 1 following defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at a freezing cold County Ground.

A poor start saw Rovers go behind after only three minutes when Kion Etete smashed home from close range before the visitors' lead was doubled through Maurizio Pochettino just after the half hour mark.

It was a half of few chances for the hosts, with the returning Dan Butterworth feeding off scraps in his first game of 2020 following a long injury lay-off.

Brad Lyons found the net for the second successive game to give Rovers hope of a comeback just moments into the second half to spark the team into life, only for Harvey White to put Spurs 3-1 up from the spot with under 20 minutes remaining.

And although Sam Durrant pulled one back shortly after, it wasn't to be for Rovers who couldn't find a third goal for their efforts in the dying embers of a game that was played in Baltic conditions.

Rovers almost got themselves off to the worst possible start, with Louie Annesley lucky that his backpass towards Antonis Stergiakis didn't end up in his own net, with the ball sliding inches past the post in the opening couple of minutes.

However, from the resulting corner Rovers weren't as fortunate, with the visitors taking the lead from a set piece.

An inswinging corner missed everyone, but nobody was keeping tabs on Kion Etete, who slammed home at the back post from close range with just three minutes played.

Rovers were struggling to test Spurs at the other end, and things got worse for the shell-shocked hosts just after the half hour mark.

A stray pass from the otherwise excellent Stergiakis was cut out by Pochettino, and he thumped home into the back of the net before the Greek stopper could get back in time.

Billy Barr's side did work a rare chance moments later, but Butterworth couldn't mark his return with a goal as his free kick whistled past Brandon Austin's right-hand post with half time looming.

Barr wouldn't have been happy with his side's first half showing, but whatever he said at the interval certainly worked as Lyons pulled a goal back just two minutes into the second half.

The Northern Irish midfielder ghosted into the box unmarked to powerfully nod home Harry Chapman's deep cross to score with Rovers' first attempt on target in the encounter.

The goal gave Rovers confidence, but there was still plenty to do at the other end as Spurs came out fighting.

It took a superb fingertip stop from Stergiakis to keep Rovers in the game soon after, with the Greek brilliantly dipping over White's effort before getting down quickly to push away a downward header from the resulting corner.

However, White wasn't to be denied, and had the chance to beat Stergiakis from the spot with 23 minutes remaining when Sam Barnes was harshly adjudged to have tripped Alfie Devine in the box.

White stepped up from 12 yards to confidently send the Rovers 'keeper the wrong way and slot into the bottom left-hand corner to ensure Wayne Burnett's side regained their two-goal advantage.

But Rovers weren't done and hit back almost immediately through substitute Durrant's precise hit. 

After picking up the ball on the right, the midfielder drove inside before firing home off the base of the left-hand post to repond in the perfect way and set up a granstand final 17 minutes.

In what was becoming an end-to-end finale, Spurs went back on the attack, but Jack Clarke sent a dipping free kick over the upright, before Chapman's inviting cross wasn't connected with by a lurking Sam Burns as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes at a freezing Leyland.

Rovers continued to press, with Chapman sending a strike crashing just wide as Rovers kept probing and continued to push Spurs back in their attempts to find a late equaliser.

There was more fine goalkeeping from Stergiakis with a couple of minutes to go, with the 21-year-old out bravely to deny Devine after Marcel Lavinier's surge forward opened things up.

But it wasn't to be for Rovers, who will come away disappointed that the chance to go to the summit of the division slipped through their fingers.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to Liverpool on Saturday 12th December, kick-off 1pm.

Rovers Under-23s: Stergiakis, Pike (Saadi, 37), Barnes, Annesley, Grayson (c), Thompson, Whitehall, Lyons, Burns, Butterworth (Durrant, 46), Chapman.

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Weston, Pratt.

Goal: Lyons, 47, Durrant, 73.

Booked: Barnes, 15, Annesley, 23, Saadi, 70.

Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s: Austin, Okendina (c), Lavinier, Marsh, Luyons-Foster, Omole, Pochettino (Thorpe, 74), White, Etete, Devine, Clarke.

Unused substitutes: Kurylowicz, Mukendi, Pedder, Skinner.

Goal: Etete, 3, Pochettino, 32, White pen, 67.

Booked: Marsh, 38, Omole, 86,

Referee: Matthew Dicicco.

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