TWO goals in four second half minutes fired Rovers to a winning start in their pre-season programme.

Tony Mowbray’s men had to overcome a tricky opening against Hibernian, with a young line-up put on the back foot early by the Scottish Premier League side.

This was Rovers’ first taste of pre-season action and it showed in the opening stages against Neil Lennon’s men, who had already played a couple of friendlies in preparation for Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against Runavik.

But with more experienced minds and legs on the field in a changed XI after the break, Rovers stamped their authority on the game, which was a testimonial match for long-serving Hibernian centre back Paul Hanlon.

It took Craig Conway just four second half minutes to break the deadlock and spoil Hanlon’s party. Picking the ball up on the left, just outside the area, he cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right corner, giving goalkeeper Ross Laidlow – a half-time replacement for Adam Bogdan – no chance.

Bradley Dack, so often the scorer of goals last season, helped to make it 2-0 just four minutes later.

Spotting the run of Willem Tomlinson he sent a perfectly weighted ball into his team-mate’s path, and after the initial shot was saved, Tomlinson reacted quickest to bury the rebound.

Hibernian struggled to get in it after that, as the half was punctuated by substitutions for the home side.

But Andrew Fisher still had to be on his mettle to keep the clean sheet, with Rovers mindful of the threat Hibernian had posed in the first half.

Hibs were quick out of the blocks and within the opening four minutes had earned three corners.

David Gray brought a smart save from Jayson Leutwiler, low to his left, from the first. And the keeper was called into action again after a mistake by Scott Wharton on the edge of the box created an opening for John McGinn. The midfielder’s 25-yard shot threatened to dip under the bar but Leutwiler did well to tip it over.

Jacob Davenport, in his first game since signing from Manchester City, had an industrious debut but would have been disappointed not to make more of a free kick around 25 yards out – hitting the wall with his first attempt before firing the follow-up straight at Bogdan.

Oli Shaw was a dangerman for Hibernian at the other end, and would have fancied himself in a one-on-one with Leutwiler, but his touch evaded him and the Rovers keeper was able to smother the ball before the striker could do any damage.

The keeper denied Shaw again before the break, saving well after Shaw had latched on to McGinn’s precision throughball.

Rovers, who were watched by former boss Gary Bowyer and assistant Terry McPhillips, had the last chance of the half though, but Joe Nuttall was denied by Lewis Stevenson’s excellent challenge.

Despite wholesale changes, Mowbray’s men hit the ground running at the start of the second half, and once Conway scored there looked to be only one outcome.

Charlie Mulgrew was denied by the woodwork. But the second soon after, from Tomlinson, sealed it.

Hibernian had chances but found Fisher in fine form, just as Leutwiler had been in the first.

Florian Kamberi fired low from the right, but Fisher was a match for it.

Shaw posed more of a test in trying to chip the Rovers stopper, but again Fisher made a good save to start pre-season with a win and a clean sheet.

ROVERS FIRST HALF XI: Jayson Leutwiler, Elliott Bennett, Darragh Lenihan, Scott Wharton, Amari'i Bell, Jacob Davenport, Lewis Travis, Corry Evans, Joe Rothwell, Dan Butterworth, Joe Nuttall.

ROVERS SECOND HALF XI: Andrew Fisher, Matthew Platt, Charlie Mulgrew, Derrick Williams, Ryan Nyambe, Richie Smallwood, Craig Conway, Willem Tomlinson, Peter Whittingham, Bradley Dack, Danny Graham.