Dominic Samuel pushed his claims for first-team inclusion with a hat-trick for Rovers Under-23s in a 4-0 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur.

Samuel shook off a knock, which ruled him out of last week’s defeat to Everton, to feature and was the star of the show on a wet and windy night at Leyland.

While the first was a close range finish inside the six yard box, the next two were much of his own doing, taking down a long ball forward with an exquisite first touch and rolling in to an empty net before completing his hat-trick in the final 10 minutes with a shot on the turn which went in off the post.

It is now six goals in four Under-23s appearances for Samuel who came through another 90 minutes with ease.

Jacob Davenport made his second appearance as he continues his comeback from an ankle injury and played the full game, though Harry Chapman wasn’t involved.

The visitors were quickly in to their passing stride, but much of it was infront of Rovers who were keeping a good shape behind the ball.

They were playing more on the counter in the early stages, working some excellent overlaps, particularly on the left where Lewis Thompson enjoyed plenty of space.

One of those breaks saw Stefan Mols tee up Joe Rankin-Costello, but Tariq Hinds was quickly across to block.

As the half wore on Rovers began to dominate, looking increasingly impressive as Davenport flew in to several tackles in the middle of the park showing no signs he was easing himself in.

Rankin-Costello was becoming a nuisance for the Spurs backline, drawing a save out of Brandon Austin with a well-hit shot from 12 yards.

The opening goal arrived midway through the half, with Samuel claiming the final touch as Sam Barnes glanced a near post Mols corner goalwards.

That was the start of an excellent period of pressure from Rovers who were playing some eye-catching stuff.

Rankin-Costello headed wide from a Joe Grayson inswinger at the far post, with Spurs struggling to deal with Rovers’ aerial threat.

Spurs needed a reaction in the second half and started with more purpose and intensity to their play as Phoenix Patterson shot tamely at Joe Hilton who made an excellent stop to deny Jamie Bowden.

But Rovers took charge of the game with two quickfire goals which settled the game.

Samuel showed his pace by racing on to a Brad Lyons through ball, and so good was his touch that it took him beyond the keeper in the same movement, before tapping in to empty net.

And Mols added a third for Rovers, exchanging passes with Vale before firing in to the corner.

Moments before that, Lyons had seen a long-range effort saved, as Rovers turned the screw.

Samuel added his third, and Rovers’ fourth, with an excellent finish which proved too hot for Austin to handle.

There was a scare for Rovers before the end, as Davenport was wiped out by a late tackle which sparked an 18-man melee, with a yellow card for the challenge the result.

Vale could have added a fifth in injury time, only to side foot wide from the edge of the box after being teed up by Thompson.

Rovers: Hilton, Doyle, Barnes, Grayson, Doyle, Mols, Lyons, Davenport, Rankin-Costello, Vale, Samuel

Subs: White, Eastham, Whitehall, Boyomo, Brenna

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, White, Bowden, Dinzeyi (Okedina, 75), Lyons-Foster, Markanday, Maghoma, Patterson (Pochettino-Grippaldi, 67) Oakley-Boothe, Tracey

Subs: Eyoma, Oluwayemi