CORRY Evans was last-man standing when it came to senior central midfielders left at Rovers following the announcement of club’s retained list.

The Ewood arrival of a new midfield quartet during the course of the summer added strength and competition in the middle of the pitch, and there will be a real battle for who makes the starting line-up at Southend in just over two weeks’ time.

But keen to show he shouldn’t be discounted, Evans, something of a forgotten man given his time out of the side through injury, put in an accomplished 60 minute performance to help Rovers ease to a second win of pre-season at National League North side York City.

Not that Ben Gladwin and Bradley Dack did their chances of cementing a spot in the starting XI any harm by scoring their first goal in Rovers colours.

And all this with Peter Whittingham and Richie Smallwood watching on from the dug-out.

While the level of opposition and the fact it was a friendly should obviously be taken in to account, what shouldn’t be overlooked was the polished performance of Tony Mowbray’s men who played some excellent stuff throughout and remained professional to the end.

The opener came after 12 minutes, with Dack dinking an effort over the keeper and in off the post after collecting an Evans pass.

The pair combined again five minutes later, with Dack playing provider for Evans who fired home from the edge of the box via a deflection.

Time and again Rovers were working their way through York, and the visitors made it 3-0 just before the half hour when Gladwin, who looked better suited in a deeper role, fired a crisp left-footed effort in to the corner.

York, with the evergreen Jon Parkin, continued to plug away. The striker went close with a header just before half-time before Rovers grabbed their fourth. It came through Gladwin who swept home from close range after Paul Caddis nodded down an excellent Jack Doyle cross.

A triangle of Evans, Dack and Gladwin was causing York problems and it was no surprise that an Evans through-ball to Doyle allowed Caddis to steal in at the far post and score Rovers’ fifth.

A theme of staking a claim was emerging, with Caddis looking to secure a permanent deal. His last act of the night was to score a sublime curling left-foot effort to double his tally after linking up with Dack on the right edge of the box.

The remaining changes were made with 20 minutes to play, with Rovers twice going close to making it seven, as Charlie Mulgrew saw a header saved and Joe Nuttall glanced a Joe Rankin-Costello cross wide.

But it didn’t take long for Danny Graham to introduce himself to the game, nodding home an Elliott Bennett cross as Rovers continued to press forward.

They weren’t finished either. With five minutes to go Bennett scored what was, even by his high standards, an outstanding goal. Taking aim from all of 30 yards, his dipping effort rifled in to the roof of the net.

And Rovers would have made it nine before the end were it not for a flying stop from substitute keeper Luke Simpson, once of Accrington Stanley, to deny Charlie Mulgrew’s 30-yard free-kick.

Rovers: Steele (Raya, 70), Nyambe (Lenihan, 46), Ward (Mulgrew, 60), Williams (Wharton, 70), Caddis (Hardcastle, 60), Evans (Whittingham, 60), Tomlinson (Smallwood, 70), Doyle (Bennett, 71), Feeney (Nuttall, 70), Dack (Rankin-Costello, 70), Gladwin (Graham, 60)

Subs not used: Fisher