Rover Under-23s made it three wins from three after overcoming Burnley in the Premier League Cup.

A stunning Dominic Samuel strike and close-range finish from Jacob Davenport had Rovers in control, but they were made to work hard for it in the closing stages as Rob Harker grabbed a goal back for the visitors.

Andrew Fisher made some excellent saves to keep the lead intact, but the win leaves Rovers on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages.

A strong Rovers side Ben Brereton, Harry Chapman and Samuel all involved, as was Ben Gladwin, given 45 minutes after spending the last two years out injured.

It was a bright start for the hosts, with Joe Rankin-Costello blasting wide from the edge of the area before Brereton planted a header from a Stefan Mols straight at Adam Legzdins, who was also equal to his 25-yard strike moments later.

While Rovers were seeing more of the ball, neither side were taking good enough care of it.

And it was from a loose pass that Rovers almost handed the Clarets a perfect chance to take the lead. Mols sold Andrew Fisher short with his pass, and although the goalkeeper was equal to Rob Harker’s effort, Hayden Carter needed to be well placed to clear Josh Benson’s follow-up off the line.

Both sides had penalty appeals turned down, with Rovers’ looking the more convincing shout as Chapman went down under Adam Phillips’ challenge.

Gladwin, booked for halting a counter-attack, was showing some neat touches, none moreso than a step-over to create room for a shooting opportunity that he ballooned over the bar.

The deadlock was broken on the half hour courtesy of a stunning Samuel strike. It was all his own work, winning the ball just inside the Burnley half, driving forward before unleashing a thumping 25-yard that nestled in the top corner.

Fisher would need to make two smart saves before the break, to keep Rovers ahead. The first saw him tip over a rising effort from distance, with the second an excellent one-handed stop diving full stretch to his right to keep out a free-kick, both from the boot of Benson.

Rovers stepped things up in the second half, with Legzdins saving well from Samuel before the hosts did double their lead nine minutes after the re-start.

Davenport started the move, and finished it off from close range, finding the top corner after linking up with Brereton.

Rovers were now the stronger and were sensing a third to close the game out, one they thought had arrived when Rankin-Costello headed in from close range after a smart Legzdins save from Samuel’s volley.

But any hopes of an easy final quarter evaporated when Rob Harker turned Hayden Carter and fired a low shot across Fisher and in to the corner. And but for a smart Fisher save moments later, when Phillips found himself clean through, the visitors would have turned things around within five minutes.

It was Fisher protecting Rovers’ lead, pulling off another excellent save from a Phillips free kick.

Rovers were struggling to control the ball as before, with their counter-attacking threat coming from Chapman and sub Dan Butterworth, but neither were able to make the most of promising positions when breaking in behind.

But they were able to hang on to the victory that maintains their stranglehold on the group.

Rovers: Fisher, Rankin-Costello, Whitehall, Carter, Thompson, Davenport, Mols, Gladwin (Paton, 46), Chapman, Samuel (Vale, 71), Brereton (Butterworth, 61)

Subs: Hilton

Burnley: Legzdins, Cooney, Glennon, Phillips, Younger, Wilson, Koiki, N’Guessan (Richardson, 88) Harker, Mumbongo (Thomas, 60), Benson (Goodridge, 82)

Subs: Jensen, Tucker