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Development Squad

PL2 Report: Aston Villa U23s 0 Rovers U23s 3

Goals from Wright, Mansell & Butterworth seal convincing win

20 November 2017

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Rovers' Under-23s made it three Premier League 2 wins on the spin with a comfortable 3-0 victory away to Aston Villa.

The visitors led 1-0 at the break, as Callum Wright - who netted twice in the 6-1 Premier League Cup victory over Watford - enhanced his growing reputation with an effort from the edge of the area on 37 minutes.

Lewis Mansell doubled Rovers' lead midway through the second half, before substitute Daniel Butterworth secured the points four minutes from time.

Mansell and Butterworth were also on the scoresheet against the Hornets last time out.

The victory, which extended Rovers' unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions, saw Johnson's side briefly go top of the Premier League 2 table, before Middlesbrough's late winner at West Brom.

The clean sheet - Rovers' third in a row in the league - ensures that Rovers still have the best defensive record in the division.

Ahead of the game, Johnson made four changes to the side that walloped Watford, with Andy Fisher returning in goal, captain Lewis Hardcastle and Willem Tomlinson back in central midfield, and scholar Jack Evans deputising for Jack Doyle at left-back.

Rovers dominated throughout, with Villa unable to register a single shot on target.

The opener arrived eight minutes before the break. After good pressuring up the pitch by Joe Rankin-Costello, Mansell found Wright, who fired home from the edge of the box.

Rovers doubled their advantage midway through the second half when Hardcastle got round the back of the Villa defense and his cross was headed home by Mansell.

Rankin-Costello then had a fine looping header questionably ruled out, before Rovers wrapped up the win four minutes from time.

Joe Grayson played a through ball to Butterworth, who drilled a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner for his fourth goal in as many games for Rovers' younger age groups.  

Johnson's side are back in action on Monday November 27th when they welcome West Bromwich Albion to the LFA County Ground in Leyland.

ASTON VILLA: Johansson, Bree, Bedeau, Suliman, Clark, Lyden, Doyle-Hayes, Blackett-Taylor (Cox 30), Knibbs (Mooney 63), McKirdy, Clarke (Borg 75).
Subs not used: Idem, Finnerty.

Booked: Bedeau, McKirdy.

ROVERS: Fisher, Travis, C. Doyle, Platt, Wharton, Evans, Hardcastle (Grayson 80), Tomlinson (Magloire 88), Wright (Butterworth 79), Rankin-Costello, Mansell.
Subs not used: Albinson, Thomson.

Goals: Wright (37), Mansell (67), Butterworth (86).
Booked: Hardcastle, Tomlinson, Platt.

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