Rovers will host Preston North End in round five of the FA Youth Cup after a hard-fought win over Charlton Athletic at Ewood Park.

Sam Burns' solo goal four minutes before half-time proved decisive, but Rovers were made to work in a second half where the visitors piled on the pressure.

Rovers made just one change from their third round win over Newport, with Chanka Zimba dropping to the bench as Zak Gilsenan took his place.

Luke Brennan was the star man in the last round, and has had opportunities for the Under-23s of late, and was quickly in to the game. The first of two early breaks down the left saw him cross to the near post where good defending Kasim Aidoo stopped Burns from getting a free shot at goal.

Rovers threatened again in the 15th minute, this time Gilsenan and Burns linking up to find Dan Pike on the overlap but his shot was sliced wide.

Charlton were certainly in the game, coming in to it on the back of an impressive win over West Ham in round three. And it was a Charlie Henry corner that caused Rovers problems in the 20th minute, an air shot at the near post from Brandon Lonsdale almost seeing the left wing delivery go straight in, but for a block on the line.

Neither side were able to test the opposition goalkeeper however in what was an even opening half an hour.

Rovers were struggling to get their front two involved, but Isaac Whitehall and Flavien Boyomo at the back were comfortably dealing with any Charlton threat.

The Addicks did go close though from distance as Euan Williams bent an effort goalwards, as Rovers failed to clear on the edge of their own box, with Jordan Eastham grateful to see the ball drift just wide.

The wait for a shot on target went on, as Brennan curled a 30-yard free kick over the wall, but his strike lacked power, and direction as Harvey watched it wide.

When the first shot on target did arrive, it brought the opening goal, owing much to the pace and composure of Burns. Whitehall cleared a Charlton corner, from which Burns drove forward 60 yards and blasted a shot across Harvey and in to the bottom corner.

The start to the second half was much better from Rovers, Brennan twice getting in behind inside the opening three minutes after the re-start. The second saw him direct a shot back towards the near post where Harvey needed to be at full stretch to tip it behind.

Charlton were also looking to add more tempo to their play, and a neat move in the 50th minute ending with Richard Afrane-Kesey testing the handling of Jordan Eastham with a shot from 12 yards, the Rovers ‘keeper up to the task.

Rovers turned to their bench six minutes in to the second half, Charlie Weston replacing Jared Harlock who was walking a tightrope with the referee after an early booking.

Eastham also had to be on his guard, watching a dipping Henry free kick in to the side netting as Charlton threatened a way back in to the game.

There was a better flow to the second half, two good right-wing crosses at the other end, from Pike and Lonsdale, posed Charlton problems as Rovers led by one goal heading in to the final half hour.

A decent chance for two saw Boyomo head a Brennan corner towards Jalil Saadi at the back post, but he couldn’t guide his volley on target.

Charlton were certainly enjoying territory, but wasteful around the edge of the box, Jeremy Santos wildly firing over with 20 minutes to go when others were better placed in the middle.

Rovers were coming under increasing pressure though, as Charlton pressed hard for the equaliser and were spending plenty of time camped in the Rovers defensive third.

Mike Sheron made all three of his changes to add fresh legs, and also saw it pay of as they almost added what would have been a crucial second as Harvey spilled a free kick in to the path of Saadi’s whose thumping drive was well blocked by Charlie Barker.

It was definitely a case of trying to see the job through for Rovers though who were being made to work extremely hard out of possession.

Burns should have sealed it in to the dying seconds, denied first by the keeper before firing the rebound over from six yards.


Rovers: Eastham, Pike, Boyomo, Whitehall, Cirino, Saadi, Harlock (Weston, 51), Burns, Gilsenan (Leonard, 80), Brennan, Lonsdale (Zimba, 74)

Subs: Wyatt, Dowling, Gent, Cunningham

Charlton: Harvey, Barton, Aidoo (Campbell, 84), Henry, Barker, French, Albon, Agyemang, Santos, Williams (Ladapo, 88), Afrane-Kesey (Gavin, 70)

Subs: Buhari, Watkins, Garande, Reilly