Dominic Samuel and Harry Chapman both starred for Rovers Under-23s in the 5-3 win at Brighton – scoring twice each - as Billy Barr celebrated his first three points since taking charge.

Both were making their third appearance for the Academy side, with striker Samuel continuing his comeback from a long-term knee injury, while winger Chapman is trying to prove his form and fitness to first-team boss Tony Mowbray in a bid to force his way in to the Championship matchday squad.

Chapman brought Rovers back in to the contest, scoring just before the break to reduce the deficit to 2-1. And moments after Brighton had captain Max Sanders sent off, with the score at 3-1, Samuel scored two quickfire goals to haul Rovers level.

Central defender Sam Barnes put Rovers ahead for the first time with nine minutes to go before Chapman added a fifth goal in injury time.

It was a first Premier League 2 win of the season, with Barr praising the contribution of senior duo Samuel and Chapman, who he feels got exactly what they needed personally out of the game.

“There’s reasons why players play for the Under-23s,” Barr said of the pair.

“Dom is obviously coming back from a long-term injury and Harry isn’t in the manager’s plans at the moment, so it was an opportunity for them to play some football.

“I said to them both before the game, make sure you come out of the end of the game better than you went into the start of it and I think they both did that.”

He added: “I was pleased for Dom and pleased for Harry that they got the goals, which will probably move them closer to the first team on the back of that, and I was pleased for Sam Barnes, because throughout his journey with us we have challenged him to score more goals and he could have had a hat-trick on the night.”

As well as Samuel and Chapman, left back Sam Hart made his second outing for the Academy side having been sidelined for a month with a hamstring problem.

Rovers were beaten by Arsenal in their opening game before a draw at Leicester City.

They were reduced to nine men in their last home game with Wolves, going down 2-1 courtesy of an injury-time goal, but picked up their first win at the AMEX Stadium.

The game turned on the red card for Sanders, with Rovers netting four times in the final half an hour to make it a fruitful trip to the south coast.

It was Barr’s third game in charge since replacing Damien Johnson last month and he felt the win was much deserved given their second half showing.

“I was really pleased for the lads, really,” Barr told the club website.

“We set out with a game plan and we didn’t really carry it out in the first half.

“In the second half, we moved the ball quickly, we were patient, we stretched Brighton, we opened gaps up and ultimately those gaps won us the game.

“It was really pleasing to score four goals in the second half.

“Overall, it was a long trip, but a pleasing result in the end.”

With four league games played, Rovers are now without a Premier League fixture until the trip to last season’s champions Everton on Monday, September 16 (7pm).

Before that they will look to start the defence of their Lancashire Senior Cup crown against Accrington Stanley, who they beat in last season’s quarter final, next week.

The game will take place at Lancashire FA, Leyland, on Tuesday, September 10 (7pm) and could offer more game-time to Samuel and Chapman.

Mowbray could also use the game as an opportunity to hand minutes to some of his fringe players during the international break, with Rovers not in action at first-team level until the visit of Millwall on September 14.