Billy Barr feels things are coming together for his side after backing up a first Premier League 2 victory of the season with progression in the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Penalties in either half from Danny Graham and Dominic Samuel handed Rovers victory in a game where both Rovers and Accrington Stanley handed minutes to some first-team players.

Barr has benefited from Samuel, Harry Chapman and Sam Hart all being involved in recent weeks by boosting their fitness with minutes for the Academy side, while experienced frontman Graham had asked to get some minutes under his belt in the game at Leyland.

An open game saw both goalkeepers make some impressive saves, with the tie ultimately decided by penalties in the 39th and 75th minutes.

Barr saw plenty of pleasing signs from his side, but also areas to work on, as they return to Premier League 2 action against last season’s champions Everton on Monday.

He said: “I thought we were good for long periods, but we were sloppy at times.

“For as good as we were at times, we kept giving them the ball back.

“The second half of the first half we grew in to it, dominated possession.

“I thought it was a good game. Accrington named a strong team and we came out with a positive result, and a clean sheet as well.”

Goalkeeper Joe Hilton signed from Everton in the summer and with Andrew Fisher out on loan with League Two Northampton, and Charlie Albinson having been released, has taken over the gloves for the Under-23s.

He made fine saves from Okera Simmonds and Phil Edwards in particular to keep Rovers’ lead intact, and Barr has been impressed with his displays this season.

“One really good save in the first half and several in the second half,” said Barr, who took over the job last month after Damien Johnson’s promotion to the first-team set-up.

“I’ve been pleased with Joe. At times, especially the Wolves game at home, we’ve been under the cosh and he has made some good saves.

“I’ve been really happy with him.”

Rovers have allowed a number of their young players to leave on loan this season, while several more have been involved with the first-team so far.

That situation will become more fluid as the season goes on, but with the loan window closed for EFL clubs, the likes of Joe Grayson and Brad Lyons in particular are likely to be heavily involved for the Under-23s this season, despite finishing last season with Grimsby and St Mirren respectively.

Though Barr added: “There’s still the National League and below that some could potentially go to.

“We’d like them all to be out and having that challenge of playing 90 minutes every week, that’d be great.

“It might pick the team a bit easier. There are some that might not be playing for the first-team who might come down and play but the challenge now is to keep doing what we’ve started and building on the good work from last season which a lot of them were a part of.”

Barr had previously worked with a number of the players during his previous job as manager of the Under-18s.

He will welcome back Lewis Thompson (Northern Ireland Under-21s) and Louie Annesley (Gibraltar) for the trip to Goodison Park on Monday as he looks to make it a hat-trick of wins.

On his role, he added: “It’s different, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a challenge to go up against these teams who’ve spent a lot of money.

“The pleasing thing is that we’ve got a lot of lads who’ve through our system and are still at the club and progressing nicely.

“I’m happy in general with the group, sometimes it’s big, sometimes it’s small, but they’re working well.”