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Posted Sat 29 Dec 12 at 17:00 PM

Barnsley 1-3 Rovers

Rovers got back to winning ways with a hardworking victory over Barnsley at Oakwell.

When the two sides met at Ewood back in September it was a 2-1 win for Rovers, on this occasion they went one better with a 3-1 win.

First half strikes from Joshua King and Ruben Rochina set Rovers on their way and although Stephen Dawson reduced arrears with a goal 14 minutes from time, nerves were settled deep into added time when Jordan Rhodes struck to complete a league double over the Tykes.

Rovers end the year with a win, they'll hope to kick off 2013 in similar fashion against Nottingham Forest on New Years Day.


Caretaker boss Gary Bowyer made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 away at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day.

Back into the side came Ruben Rochina and Simon Vukcevic with Colin Kazim-Richards and Diogo Rosado the men making way.

The match at Oakwell was slow to get going, Barnsley enjoying the better of the possession in the early stages but once Rovers clicked into gear they would go onto dominate the first half.

The home side had early opportunities, Rovers just about scrambling the ball away after Craig Davies had gotten the better of Scott Dann.

Just past the quarter hour a flowing Rovers move saw Bowyer's side go close. Ruben Rochina switching play superbly out to the right where the fleet-footed Josh King raced clear of his marker before cutting in and finding Jordan Rhodes in the penalty area but the striker couldn't get the ball from out of his feet quick enough and the chance was gone.

Moments later Barnsley had Luke Steele to thank as the 'keeper tipped aside a swerving effort from Josh King.

Rochina, looking lively on his return to the starting line-up, then feed Adam Henley in an advanced position, the young full back raced into the area to tee up Rhodes but inexplicably Rovers' top scorer skied his chance.

An accidental clash of heads saw Scott Dann sidelined for five minutes but despite being a man down they took the lead on 29 minutes.

Jake Kean had saved well to deny Jim O'Brien and as he released the ball to Jordan Rhodes the striker fed Josh King and he raced away towards goal, Luke Steele came out to meet King's shot, the ball deflecting off the pair before rolling into the back of the net.

It was King's second goal in a Rovers shirt since his arrival on loan back in November.

Rovers were already on top ahead of the goal, King's strike adding to the confidence that was returning and a minute before the 45 the visitors would have a second goal to show for their efforts.

As with the first it stemmed from good work by Jordan Rhodes, battling hard to release the ball out to the left where Martin Olsson fed Ruben Rochina ahead of him.

Barnsley defender Scott Wiseman made the decision to back away from the Spaniard and the Rovers man took full advantage, racing through on goal to fire low past the helpless Steele.

Jake Kean had had a relatively quiet opening half but on the stroke of half-time he was called upon to make an important save to ensure Rovers took their 2-0 lead into half time.

A deep cross from O'Brien saw Marcus Tudgay control the ball at the back post, it looked like he had taken the ball down with his arm before shooting but Kean was equal to his efforts with a smart save.

As the players went off at the break Simon Vukcevic had to be helped off by the physios, the Montenegro having been caught late in a challenge. He wouldn't return at the start of the second half, Colin Kazim-Richards on to replace.

Rovers were slow to get started in the second half as the home side came out looking for a way back into the game, but having weathered they started to show the sort of quality displayed in the opening 45.

It was Ruben Rochina causing the havoc, the former Barcelona trainee seeing a rasping right-foot effort deflected wide before he teed up Kazim-Richards who's attempt was also deflected past the post.

Next it was Scott Dann's turn to go close, the defender seeing a back post header deflected away from goal before Rochina was goal hunting once more. Steele claiming a well-struck effort before a delicate lob drifted narrowly over.

With 15 minutes to go Rovers wasted a great chance to extend their lead further. Good play from Josh King saw him find Kazim-Richards, Henley was sent away on the overlap but his cross was misplaced with Rhodes and co waiting in the centre.

That missed opportunity would prove costly as Barnsley reduced the deficit with their next attack. A hopeful ball forward deflecting into the path of Stephen Dawson, the midfielder striking the ball beautifully into the far top corner with Kean having no chance.

A collision between Marcus Tudgay and Jake Kean on 80 minutes saw a lengthy break in play whilst the pair received treatment. Kean was quickly up on his feet but the same couldn't be said for the Barnsley attacker and after 8 additional minutes he was eventually stretchered off the pitch with a broken collarbone.

With the home side having made all three substitutions, they would have to play the remaining time a man down.

After nine added minutes were shown at the end of the ninety Rovers spurned a golden chance to make it 3-1. 

Good battling by Kazim-Richards saw him get the better of Scott Golbourne on the right and with men over he crossed to Nuno Gomes but inexplicably he fired wide from close-range with his first touch.

Keith Hill's side laid siege to the Rovers area and there were a few nervy moments but they were calmed when in the 99th minute Jason Lowe cleared long upfield Jordan Rhodes outmuscled Jimmy McNulty before firing beyond Luke Steele to clinch Rovers' first win in seven outings.

BARNSLEY: Steele (c), Golbourne, Foster, Dawson, O'Brien, Davies (sub Sinclair 70 mins), Done (sub Noble-Lazarus 46 mins), Perkins, Wiseman (sub Stones 46 mins), McNulty, Tudgay.

Subs not used: Lidakevicius (GK), Hassell, Harewood, Greening.

Goals: Dawson 76 mins.

Booked: McNulty.

ROVERS: Kean, Martin Olsson, Lowe, Rhodes, Murphy (c), King (sub Nuno Gomes 90 mins), Dann, Rochina (sub Markus Olsson 68 mins), Henley, Hanley, Vukcevic (sub Kazim-Richards 46 mins).

Subs not used: Usai (GK), Nuno Henrique, Morris, Diogo Rosado.

Goals: King 29 mins, Rochina 44 mins, Rhodes 90+3 mins.

Booked: King, Vukcevic

Attendance: 9,153

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