JACK Vale was the Rovers hero as his hat-trick helped book a place in the last eight of the FA Youth Cup.

Skipper Hayden Carter and substitute Kyle Connell also got their names on the scoresheet as Rovers Under-18s set up a quarter final meeting with Blackpool courtesy of a 5-1 win at Ewood Park.

Sixteen-year-old Vale proved too strong for the Forest backline, with his movement in behind a constant menace. He linked up with strike partner Dan Butterworth for two of his three strikes on what was a night to remember.

An open start to the game saw both sides create chances, with Rovers denied an opener by the linesman’s flag in the 13th minute. Vale moved just too soon to collect a Jack Evans pass, volleying home expertly after taking the ball down on his chest, only to be given offside.

But there was to be denying the Rovers attacker on 19 minutes. Butterworth showed good awareness to send his strike partner through, and despite being denied by Rudolfs Soloha, Vale slammed the rebound home.

The lead lasted just six minutes as Forest levelled from the spot. Brennan Johnson won the penalty, taken out by Sam Barnes after showing good pace. He picked himself up, and although home keeper Matthew Campbell went the right way, he couldn’t keep it out.

Vale was back in the action shortly after, restoring Rovers’ lead in the 27th minute with his second of the game.

He turned in a George Wilson cross-shot at the far post, and despite colliding with the frame of the goal, was able to continue having put his side 2-1 up.

The goals kept coming, Rovers building a 3-1 lead nine minutes before the break when Carter found himself unmarked at the far post, volleying a John Buckley corner down into the corner.

Johnson then twice went close in a matter of minutes for the visitors. First Campbell denied him with a smart save, before the Forest man fired into the side netting.

The away side started the second half brightly as they sought a way back into the game as first Johnson and then Jayden Richardson fired wide.

Rovers continued to look a threat, but adopted a counter-attack approach as the game ticked past the hour mark.

Campbell was forced into a smart save with 19 minutes to go, diving away to his right to keep out a Richardson effort at the end of a rampaging burst forward to preserve Rovers' advantage.

And the tie was put beyond doubt when Butterworth and Vale linked up once again, with the former turning his man and firing in his third of the evening.

Buckley was then denied goal of the night as his 30 yard chip over the keeper was acrobatically kept out on the line as Rovers went in search of a fifth.

Vale almost snatched it, firing just wide on the stretch as he connected with a Kyle Connell cross.

He was given a warm reception when replaced with seven minutes to go with his job well and truly done.

Substitute Connell then did add Rovers’ fifth with a close range finish five minutes from time after Evans had hit the post.

Rovers: Campbell, Carter, Thompson, Buckley, Jones, Barnes, Vale (Whitehall, 83), Evans, Butterworth (Burns, 88), Wilson, Dolan (Connell, 66). Subs: Boyomo, Winterbottom

Forest: Soloha, Richardson, Preston, Smith, Stewart, Harbottle, Appiah (Bondswell, 88), Charlesworth (Barnes, 85), Johnson, En-Neyah, Cormick (Mighten, 68). Subs: Shelvey, Ram.