Connor McBride scored for the fourth game running, as Rovers Under-23s continued their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 win away to Southampton.
McBride netted the only goal of the game on 12 minutes, volleying home from 10 yards out after good work by Dan Pike.
The result means it’s now three wins and a draw from their opening four fixtures for Billy Barr’s side, who sit third in the Premier League 2 table, but with a game in hand on the teams above them.
With Luke Brennan, Hayden Carter and Brad Lyons involved with the first team squad for the game against Nottingham Forest, Barr was forced to make three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Manchester United, with Pike, Louie Annesley and Sam Burns all returning to the starting XI – the average age of which was just 19.
By contrast, Southampton fielded a more experienced side, which included Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi, who were both on the bench for the Premier League club’s 3-3 draw with Chelsea 24 hours earlier.
Rovers started strongly and broke the deadlock on 12 minutes when Pike supplied a peach of a cross from the right and McBride volleyed home his fifth goal of the season into the bottom corner.
The visitors continued to dominate, with Ben Paton and Burns spurning chances to add to their tally.
At the other end, Tyreke Johnson was denied by Jordan Eastham, who made an even better save at the start of the second half, tipping Obafemi’s shot onto the post.
Saints piled on the pressure in the second 45 and thought they had rescued a point late on when Enzo Robise bundled the ball home, but their celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.
As the contest ticked into added time, Obafemi was shown a straight red card for violent conduct and Rovers held on for an impressive away win.
SOUTHAMPTON: Lewis, Valery (Robise 78), Ramsay, Tchaptchet, Vokins, Watts, Jankewitz, Chauke (Agbontohoma 87), Johnson (Nlundulu 55), Ferry, Obafemi.
Subs not used: Scott, Kpohomough.
Booked: Jankewitz, Valery.
Sent off: Obafemi.
ROVERS: Eastham, Pike, Barnes, Grayson, Thompson, Annesley, Whitehall, Saadi, Paton, McBride, Burns (Garrett 86).
Subs not used: Dowling, Harlock, Durrant.
Goal: McBride (12)
Booked: Annesley, Whitehall.