Damien Johnson felt Harry Chapman demonstrated his quality with a fine equalising goal as Rovers Under-23s battled back to earn a point against Brighton.

Rovers were unfortunate to trail 2-0 at the break to a Max Sanders double, having had the better chances in the first half. They roared back in the second period, as Jack Vale got a goal back in the 47th minute, before Chapman levelled with 18 minutes to play.

The hosts looked the more likely to snatch a winner, but had a to settle for a point which leaves them three points above the relegation places with three games remaining.

January signing Chapman played his fourth consecutive Under-23s appearance, completing 90 minutes for the second time, as he stepped up his claims for first team involvement.

Johnson said: “That one moment he showed his quality and what he’s about. I think he’s got that ability where he can come inside, or go outside.

“I’m pleased for him because it’s been a tough period for him. But credit to him.

“That’s what the demands are in those positions at the top end of the pitch, end product, and he showed his quality with the finish.”

Vale, Dan Butterworth and the impressive Joe Rankin-Costello all had opportunities to win it for Rovers in an impressive second half display. Visiting keeper Robert Sanchez denied them with smart saves, while the Seagulls ‘keeper also went close to scoring himself from a long kick forward.

“Brighton are a good side at this level, they are up there at the top of the league. We knew they would be a threat at the top end of the pitch,” said Johnson, whose side travel to Stoke City in the Premier League Cup last 16 on Friday.

“They have some good forward players who have come from abroad.  We were disappointed to give them the lead but we started the game really well, Danny had a chance, but credit to the lads for coming back.

“We talked about starting the second half on the front foot, like we started the first half, and taking our chances and we did. That gave us a chance.

“The third goal in the game was always going to be key, it was important they didn’t get it. If there was one criticism, and they talked about it (in the dressing room), they highlighted it themselves, we weren’t as clinical as we should have been in terms of chances and final third entries.

“That’s something that they are going to learn from, in terms of the delivery, or movement in getting across the keeper, whatever it may be. But there is lots of them to take from it.”

Sanders headed in a right wing cross for the opener, and doubled his tally with a shot which clipped the post and found the bottom corner.

But feeling his side were never out of the game, Johnson added: “We knew it was a tough challenge but for the players it was a test of their character and personality. Are they going to feel sorry for themselves not having scored a goal with the chances created in the first half?

“I knew Brighton were disciplined and organised and we’d have to work for our opportunities but we did. I’m pleased overall because you give a side two goals at any level it’s difficult.

“Overall it was pleasing. We would have taken it at half time.”