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Posted Sat 02 May 15 at 14:15 PM

Report: Rovers 3 Ipswich Town 2

Rovers brought their season to a close with three goals and three points on an afternoon of celebration at Ewood Park.

First half strikes from Jordan Rhodes and Craig Conway saw Rovers respond well after Daryl Murphy had emphatically given the visitors the lead after just 90 seconds.

The second half saw Rudy Gestede stretch the home side's advantage with his 22nd of the season, and although Murphy pulled a goal back from the spot in the closing stages, with Ipswich secured of a play-off place and Rovers secure with the victory, both sets of fans cheered on the final minutes.

David Dunn started and captained the side on his final appearance in blue and white, the only regret was he didn't get the chance to score one more time at the Blackburn End to mark the occasion.

The Ewood favourite was last off the pitch at the end, roundly applauded by all - and deservedly so.


For the final game of the season Gary Bowyer made two changes from the side that had drawn at Huddersfield Town seven days ago.

It's was a tale of two David's as Dunn captained the side, whilst Raya was given his Ewood bow in goal.

But the young Spaniard couldn't be blamed when the visitors took the lead inside the first 90 seconds. A Jay Tabb corner kick was fired in from the left to where Daryl Murphy superbly volleyed home.

Despite being stunned by that early opener, Rovers had chances to draw level as Rhodes and Gestede both went close. At the other end an impressive effort from an impossible angle by Freddie Sears rattled the woodwork.

But in the space of six minutes before the break Rovers turned the match on it's head.

On 36 a Craig Conway free-kick was delivered into the area and Rhodes rose high to glance home his 21st goal of the season.

Boosted by the leveller, the home side went in search of another, and they duly took the lead soon after. Tommy Spurr sent a missile of a throw into the area, Gestede flicked on and Conway arrived at the back post to slam home to give Rovers the advantage at the break.

Half-time substitute Stephen Hunt had the first effort after the turnaround, the Irishman blazing horribly wide after Ipswich had broke forward.

At the other end Rovers and Rhodes should have been celebrating once more as the striker fired an Olsson cross goalwards, Bartosz Bialkowski making an excellent save at his near post.

However on 58 minutes Rovers would get their third through a familiar combination. Craig Conway advanced down the left to centre, and as one clearance deflected off another, Gestede pounced to poke home goal number 22 of a tremendous campaign.

It was the first time in 50 years that Rovers had two strikers with 20 league goals to their name.

That goal meant play-off chasing Ipswich were suddenly nervously looking over their shoulder with both Brentford and Wolves winning. Murphy and Sears missing excellent opportunities.

The home side were praying for a chance for David Dunn as Blackburn's favourite son was pulling the strings on the park. And it was from a sublime cross-field pass from the midfielder that Rovers should have been awarded a penalty when Adam Henley was tripped in the box by Tyrone Mears, but inexplicably the officials ignored the appeals.

A goal elsewhere relaxed visiting nerves as Derby slipped out of play-off contention, Sears should have done better when well placed, Mings denied by David Raya.

After Josh King replaced Rudy Gestede it was time for David Dunn to say his goodbyes as Ben Marshall replaced the Ewood favourite with 14 minutes to go.

King was a whisker away from making it 4-1 with a sensational strike. The Norwegian controlling a ball on his chest before slamming a volley goalwards, but he was so unfortunate to see it clip the crossbar and bounce away.

Whilst Rovers were denied a cast iron penalty at one end, Ipswich were awarded one at the other. Impressive youngster Ed Bishop skipped past two challenges in the area before being unceremoniously brought down by Spurr.

Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot and Murphy made no mistake from 12-yards with a strike straight down the middle.

With Ipswich's play-off place secure, the final ten minutes were played out with freedom by the two sides as Rovers signed off the season with their seventh match unbeaten and a home win in front of the supporters.

Fittingly David Dunn was last off the pitch after the lap of honour, Ewood's favourite son given a fitting send-off on a memorable afternoon for the midfielder.

ROVERS: Raya, Henley, Lenihan, Spurr, Olsson, Conway, Evans, Williamson, Dunn (c) (sub Marshall 76 mins), Rhodes, Gestede (sub King 71 mins).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Brown, Cairney, O'Sullivan, Nyambe.

Goals: Rhodes 36 mins, Conway 42 mins, Gestede 58 mins.

Booked: None.

IPSWICH: Bialkowski, Parr (sub Anderson 55 mins), Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Tabb (sub S. Hunt 46 mins), Sears, Bishop (sub Bru 84 mins).

Subs not used: Gerken (GK), Fryers, Chaplow, N. Hunt.

Goals: Murphy 2, 82 (pen) mins.

Booked: Skuse, Tabb

Attendance: 16,869 (including 2,280 Ipswich fans).

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