ROVERS' Under-23s swept aside their Manchester City counterparts at Ewood Park to secure their Premier League 2 status for another season.

Dan Butterworth, Jack Vale and Harry Chapman got the goals in the 3-1 victory that continued the fine run of form for Damien Johnson's youngsters who have won five of their last six games in all competitions.

A crowd of more than 1,000 took up the chance to watch the game free of charge, Benjamin Garre scoring a late consolation for the visitors who included £30 million defender Eliaquim Mangala in their side.

Champman, who got some important game time alongside Jacob Davenport, fired over the first chance after an excellent touch when he could have played in the unmarked Vale on the quarter hour.

Openings were at a premium though with Joe Rankin-Costello heading a Champman cross the wrong side of Daniel Grimshaw's post just before half-time.

Rovers continued to have the better of things after the break and had the ball in the net just four minutes into the second half.

Butterworth's ball in was flicked on by Vale with Charley Doyle doing the rest, only to be flagged offside.

Johnson didn't have to wait long for his side to get their noses in front though.

Shortly after Chapman was brought down in the box with Butterworth giving the hosts the lead from the spot.

There was no let up from Rovers after the opener with Hayden Carter heading over a Chapman corner before the winger missed a great chance himself, firing over when clean through on goal.

The hosts weren't to be denied though, Vale doubling the lead with a fine strike into the corner to increase Rovers' advantage.

It wasn't until 70 minutes on the clock that City manufactured a real chance of note, Felix Nmecha's free-kick from 20 yards going not far wide.

The home side got the next goal though, Vale turning provider to set up Chapman who slotted confidently beyond Grimshaw after being played in.

Nmecha was then brought down in the box by John Buckley late on and Garre did the rest.

It didn't affect the outcome though with Johnson's side are next in action in their Premier League Cup quarter-final with Everton at Goodison Park on Tuesday, April 23.