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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Oct 15 at 17:00 PM

Report: Rovers 2 Ipswich 0

Two first half goals from sharp shooter Jordan Rhodes saw Rovers claim a worthy three points at home to Ipswich Town.

The Rovers striker took his tally for the season to seven with an expertly taken penalty and a typical close-range header as the home side made it four games unbeaten.

More goals should have followed in the second half, but Ipswich keeper Dean Gerken denied Rhodes his hat-trick on two occasions, whilst Adam Henley and Grant Hanley also went close.

At the other end Jason Steele ensured a third consecutive clean sheet for the Rovers with important saves to make it a pleasing afternoon in east Lancashire.

A strong start from the home side saw them take the lead from the penalty spot after just 12 minutes.

As Ben Marshall saw his shouts for a spot-kick waved away after an effort had struck the arm of an Ipswich man, fellow midfielder Hope Akpan, Rovers' only change from the draw with Hull City seven days ago, claimed the loose ball to drive into the area only to be brought crashing to the ground by Larsen Toure. Referee Andre Marriner pointing to the spot.

Jordan Rhodes' goalscoring record against his former club Ipswich Town is certainly impressive, and he made no mistake in adding to it by stroking home from 12-yards.

Four minutes later and Rhodes was celebrating his second goal of the game, and his seventh in his last five outings. 

Once again it was his fellow Scot with the supply, Craig Conway sending a corner into the area and Rhodes did the rest with a superb glancing header into the top corner of the net.

The visitors were shellshocked, unable to cope with the relentless pressing from the Rovers as the home side regained possession time and time again.

Markus Olsson then thought he had marked his 100th appearance with his first goal in three years by finishing well from a flowing Rovers move, but alas for the Swede his celebrations were cut short by the linesman's flag as he expertly fired home.

Grant Hanley flashed a header wide at the back post, before Conway tried his luck with a daisy cutter that just went the wrong side of the upright.

For Ipswich, the closest they came to getting anything from an otherwise one-sided first half was a long-range strike from last season's top scorer Daryl Murphy. The Irishman struck the ball well from 25-yards but Jason Steele in the Rovers goal got down to his left to turn the shot aside to ensure a two-goal lead at the break.

Undoubtedly with their manager's half-time words still ringing in their ears, the Tractor Boys looked to force the pace in the early exchanges of the second half, yet it was the Rovers who could have increased their advantage.

After Tom Lawrence had twisted and turned in the area, the loan man saw his shot blocked, then Corry Evans saw likewise on the follow-up. Markus Olsson retrieved possession to cut into the box but his cross to the back post was just too high for Ben Marshall.

The visitors responding by sending on another forward as Brett Pitman replaced Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the second such arrival after David McGoldrick had been introduced for Toure.

But again it was Rovers going close, as a hat-trick hunting Rhodes was the width of a post away from claiming the match ball. Latching onto a slide-rule pass from Evans, the striker fired goalwards only to see his effort clip the woodwork and go behind.

It wasn't all one way traffic as a clever run from Freddie Sears saw Jason Steele called upon to make a good low save on 63 minutes, before the Rovers stopper was then tested from fully 40-yards as Ipswich captain Luke Chambers let fly with a thunderbolt of an effort that was arrowing towards the top corner until Steele's timely touch.

At the other end Dean Gerken denied the unlikely figure of Adam Henley from adding to the Rovers tally. The young defender's run was expertly picked out by Evans but as he closed in on goal the Ipswich keeper saved his low shot.

Hanley then wasted a glorious chance to get on the scoresheet when he planted a free-header from a corner over the bar.

Rhodes was then denied by a sensational finger-tip save from Gerken when the striker once again found space in the area to meet a Conway free-kick. His header looked to be heading to the back of the net only for the Ipswich man to pull off an outstanding save.

Rovers still had to work hard for their three points with Steele called upon to make a close-range save from Jonathan Parr towards the end of the match, the clean sheet their reward for a complete performance from everyone in a blue and white shirt.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Marshall, Evans, Akpan, Conway, Lawrence (sub Williamson 90 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Raya, Spurr, Delfouneso, Taylor, Petshi, Lenihan.

Goals: Rhodes (pen) 12 mins, 16 mins.

Booked: Evans, Henley.

IPSWICH: Gerken, Parr, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Maitland-Niles (sub Pitman 59 mins), Skuse, Murphy (sub Oar 82 mins), Sears, Douglas, Toure (sub McGoldrick 53 mins).

Subs not used: Bialkowski (GK), Bru, Malarczyk, Emmanuel.

Goals: None

Booked: Toure, Maitland-Niles, Berra.

Attendance: 12,672 (including 642 visiting supporters)

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