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Rovers u21s 1 Leicester u21s 0

18 January 2016

Connor Thomson's solitary strike proved decisive as Rovers' Development Squad advanced into the Under-21 Premier League Cup quarter-finals at the expense of Leicester City.

The young midfielder rounded off an excellent move with Simeon Jackson to score the only goal at Brockhall. 

Rovers, who made it to the final of last season's competition, had the better of the chances and in truth deserved their victory.

For Leicester, who had the experienced Matty James and Liam Moore in their starting line-up, they rarely had a clear cut chance as Andy Fisher notched a clean sheet on his first start for the Under-21s this season. 

The Development Squad will keep a close eye on the draw as they await their opponents for the quarter-final.

Boss Damien Johnson made a number of changes from the side that lost 3-2 to Arsenal last time out, with Sacha Petshi, Connor Mahoney, Josh Askew, Anton Forrester and Jackson all come in to the starting XI.

It was Rovers who had the better of the opening stages, Joe Rankin-Costello shot over and Mahoney's free-kick was claimed by Leicester goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

Shortly after, striker Forrester could only shoot wide of the target after latching on to Scott Wharton's knock down.

Leicester's first sight on goal came in the 13th minute, Harry Panayiotou shooting straight at Fisher after cutting inside Petshi.

Former Manchester United youngster James ambitiously volleyed over from outside the box and then Admiral Muskwe stung the chest of Fisher.

Straight up at the other end, skipper Sam Lavelle broke from centre-half, he played in Jackson who found Thomson but his shot was comfortably saved by Hamer.

Winger Joe Dodoo forced Fisher into a comfortable save diving to right and shortly after the half hour mark, James was taken off and replaced by Jack Barmby due to injury.

Ever-improving Ryan Nyambe ensured the scores remained level in the 41st minute, first, he blocked Danny Rowe's goal bound effort and he then got his body in the way to keep out a Liam Moore shot from inside the box.

Rovers should have taken the lead one minute later, Jackson, who made his first-team debut against Brighton on Saturday, raced through on goal but with only Hamer to beat, he shot wide of the target.

Despite the miss, Jackson would redeem himself as he turned provider for the hosts' opener.

The former Norwich forward received the ball on the right off Thomson, he instinctively played the ball back inside, leaving the easiest of finishes for the Rovers midfielder.

Rankin-Costello had the first sight on goal in the second-half, his header being cleared after a deep cross from Forrester.

Rovers then cleared their own lines after Panayiotou nodded down inside the box and just after Fisher spilled a cross but Lavelle was on hand to put the ball into touch.

Joe Dodoo had the Foxes' best chance of the second-half, but as he latched on to a Michael Cain through ball his shot hit the side netting.

With little over 15 minutes remaining and the game starting to open up with Rovers having two glorious chances to put the game to bed.

First, Rankin-Costello shot straight at Hamer after Petshi broke from midfield and then Jackson deflected Mahoney's cross over from six yards.

Petshi had a 40-yard effort fumbled wide by Hamer and in the closing stages, Thomson was superbly thwarted by the legs of Leicester's shotstopper.

Rovers' youngsters showed great maturity in the four minutes of stoppage time to ensure it would be they who would progress into the quarter-final.

ROVERS: Fisher, Nyambe, Lavelle (c), Wharton, Askew, Mahoney (sub Carson 78 mins), Rankin-Costello, Petshi, Thomson, Forrester, Jackson

Subs not used: Crump (GK), Tanner, Green, Mansell

Goals: Thomson 45+2 mins

Booked: None.

LEICESTER CITY: Hamer, Watson, Johnson, McCourt, Elliott Moore, Liam Moore, Dodoo, James (sub Barmy 31 mins), Panayiotou, Muskie (sub King 84 mins), Rowe (sub Cain 70 mins)

Subs not used: Smith-Varnham, Miles

Goals: None.

Booked: McCourt 39

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