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Development Squad

"It’s always nice to beat your local rivals"

A win over Burnley Under-23s keeps Rovers Under-23s top of their Premier League Cup group

29 November 2019

A victory against local rivals, three points that keeps Rovers top of their Premier League Cup group and a first outing in over two years for Ben Gladwin ensured Billy Barr was a happy man as his side kept up their 100% winning record in the competition.

A goal in each half from Dominic Samuel and Jacob Davenport made sure that Rovers moved to nine points in Group G, with three games left to play.

A scorcher from Samuel got the ball rolling before Davenport made it 2-0 with his second goal in as many games.

Although Rob Harker pulled a goal back for The Clarets with 20 minutes remaining, a youthful Rovers saw the game out in a professional manner.

“I thought we were really good at times, especially for a period in the second half. The first half was quite even and then Dom came up with a worldy.

“He has a knack of scoring goals, the good thing was he did the defensive part of the job first, won the ball in our half and then drove with it.

“Even he said that he missed the opportunity to play in Ben (Brereton), but the step-over and finish is outstanding. That’s what he brings, that's what he can do.

“I thought all the lads that dropped down offered us something. Chappy (Harry Chapman) was good in tight areas in the final third, Ben Brereton offered himself in behind and it was a good workout for him and I’m delighted for Ben Gladwin.”

On Gladwin, who made his first outing since playing for the first team against Rochdale in November 2017, a beaming Barr was over the moon to see the 27-year-old mark his return.

It's been a long road back for the former Queens Park Rangers midfielder, with knee injuries hampering his stay at Ewood Park.

But he was back playing on home turf and managed to chalk up a first 45 minutes after fully recovering from the setbacks.

“To come back after such a long time out and get through 45 minutes, he looked really strong in midfield, his legs will ache for a few days I’d have thought," Barr added.

“You can have all the training and in-house games but when the ball dictates, against your local rivals, then it’s a different story. I thought he was really good on his return.

“I heard him say it was two years and two weeks since he last played, so to put that in to context, and having had a long-term injury myself, but nowhere near as long as that, the mental strength throughout, to be able to come back and throw himself back in, delighted for him.

"Fingers crossed everything is as it should be and he has the chance to get more game-time.”


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