BLACKBURN Rovers Under-23s were knocked off the top of their Premier League Cup group by Southampton on Monday night as Damien Johnson's side saw their 10-game unbeaten run ended.

Rovers were beaten 2-0 by the Saints with Matt Targett among the goalscorers for the home side in Hampshire.

Johnson handed a start to Lewis Travis just 24 hours after the midfielder came off the bench for the first team in the FA Cup draw with Crewe while Joe Grayson also came into the starting XI with Charlie Albinson starting in goal in place of Andy Fisher who had been on the bench for Tony Mowbray's men against Crewe.

In an even first half Dan Butterworth fired over the bar for the visitors with Mansell denied by home goalkeeper Jack Rose.

Johnson's side were forced into an early change when Calum Wright picked up and injury with Connor Thompson coming on.

And just when it looked like the sides would reach the interval all square, Yan Varley prodded home the opener for Southampton.

The lead was doubled nine minutes after the break when Targett curled home a fine free kick.

Rovers tried to respond with Travis lively and Dan Butterworth shot over and Sam Hart went close as Johnson's side pressed for a way back into the contest.

But they could not find a goal and fell to a first defeat in 10 games and slipped to second in the group.

Southampton are top with six points from three games with Rovers a point clear of third placed Watford and three clear of Cardiff City but both those sides have a game in hand on Johnson's outfit.

The top sides qualify for the knockout stages.

ROVERS: Albinson, Travis, C Doyle (Paton 74), Platt, Grayson, Hart, Hardcastle, Tomlinson, Wright (Thomson 20), Butterworth, Mansell.

Subs not used: Dillon, Buckley, Jackson.