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Match Report


Posted Sun 21 Feb 10 at 14:17 PM

Report: Rovers 3 Bolton 0

ROVERS picked up their first league double of the season with a comfortable 3-0 win over near-neighbours Bolton Wanderers.

Sam Allardyce's side jetted back from the sunshine of Dubai to the blizzard conditions at Ewood Park, but it made little difference as Bolton were brushed aside.

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges, Niko Kalinić seeing an effort saved onto the woodwork, whilst Keith Andrews also saw a header cleared off the line.

The deadlock was finally broken on 41 minutes when Morten Gamst Pedersen knocked down Junior Hoilett's ball to Kalinić and the Croatian lashed home his 7th of the season.

But an injury to Ryan Nelsen forced a reshuffle at the back, Keith Andrews deployed as an emergency centre half, but they weathered the storm from Bolton and from the heavens to go on and win the game comfortably.

Substitute Jason Roberts took advantage of lax defending by Bolton to double Rovers' lead on 73 before Gaël Givet arrived to head home an El-Hadji Diouf cross to complete the match.

The win, Rovers' fourth home victory in a row, sees them consolidate their position in mid-table, some 11 points away from any relegation danger.

Watch the match highlights on Rovers Player

Sam Allardyce was forced into making one change from the side that defeated Hull CIty last time in the league. Brett Emerton, having picked up a minor achilles injury, saw his place was taken by Junior Hoilett.

Bolton were unchanged after their goalless draw at Wigan on Wednesday night.

After just four minutes the ball nestled into the back of the net from a Morten Gamst Pedersen throw, but as the ball didn't touch a player on its route to goal it of course didn't count and a goal kick was awarded.

Moments later a Pedersen free-kick was headed powerfully towards goal but Jaaskelainen made a fine save. Although the Croatian would have been denied as the linesman's flag was raised.

For the visitors, the opening quarter hour saw Elmander also see an effort chalked off for offside, before good work from Gardner and Lee saw the ball worked to Fabrice Muamba but he blazed over.

On 21 Rovers were left wondering how they hadn't opened the scoring. A corner from the left by Pedersen found the head of Keith Andrews who saw his shot stopped on the line, the rebound came to Nikola Kalinić who saw his close-range shot tipped onto the post by Jaaskelainen.

The Finnish stopper then came to Bolton's rescue just past the midway point, a poor back pass from Zat Knight saw Junior Hoilett race towards goal but Jaaskelainen raced off his line to clear the danger.

It was Rovers who continued to force the pace, Pedersen again going close with a free-kick, but his whipped effort struck the stantion behind the goal.

But Rovers were dealt a blow when Ryan Nelsen landed heavily after challenging for the ball with Elmander. The New Zealander returned after treatment but could only last a further ten minutes before being replaced by Vince Grella making his long-awaited return to action.

The switch meant Keith Andrews was given the task of dropping back to the centre of defence to partner Gaël Givet, and they were still adjusting when a ball across the area by Lee found Matt Taylor but his back post shot was well saved by Robinson in the Rovers goal.

Four minutes before the break the deadlock was finally broken with a move of quality. El-Hadji Diouf finding Hoilett in midfield with the Canadian then finding Pedersen with his forward ball, to nod into the path of Niko Kalinić who lashed home his 7th of the season, the ball deflecting off the boot of Zat Knight on its way past Jaaskelainen.

Early in the second half and Paul Robinson had to be brave when Taylor threaded the ball through to Ricardo Gardner, the Rovers number one quickly off his line to claim the ball at the feet of the Bolton midfielder.

At the other end it was Bolton's goalkeeper who came to their rescue, Hoilett with a forward run before finding Pedersen who clipped the ball back into the centre, Hoilett powered a header forward but Jaaskelainen dived to push the ball aside.

Then Kevin Davies found Lee in the area but his shot was well saved by Paul Robinson.

Just before the hour mark Bolton boss Owen Coyle made a double substitution, bringing on Mark Davies and Vladimir Weiss for Fabrice Muamba and Matt Taylor, whilst Sam Allardyce made his second change with Jason Roberts replacing Junior Hoilett.

As the snow fell ever heavier so did the pressure on Rovers' patched up back line. Important blocks by Salgado and Nzonzi thwarting Bolton efforts as they grew stronger. Ivan Klasnic coming on as Bolton made their third and final change.

On 72 minutes a surging run from Martin Olsson not only relived the pressure but also set Rovers' on the attack which would ultimately lead to Rovers doubling their lead, the Swede's centre deflecting for a corner and from the kick Steven Nzonzi saw his goalbound header somehow clawed away.

That disappointment lasted less than sixty seconds however as from the second corner kick Gaël Givet hooked the ball back in and as the Bolton defence raced out to attempt an offside the one man who wasn't was Jason Roberts and he cooly slotted home from ten yards out.

Moments later a Morten Gamst Pedersen free-kick was inches away from being directed into the back of the net, El-Hadji Diouf almost grabbing a goal against his old club.

Six minutes from time the icing was put on a very snowy cake when an El-Hadji Diouf free-kick from the right was glanced home by Gaël Givet, the Frenchman showing great delight as the ball found the back of the net off the foot of the post.

David Dunn was given a runout for the last three minutes of the game, coming on to replace the man who has overtaken him in the Rovers goalscoring charts Nikola Kalinić, who left to a standing ovation.

Rovers' fourth home win on the trot doesn't see them climb the table, but the three points takes them closer to that magic 40-point mark and 11 points away from the drop-zone.

ROVERS: Robinson, Salgado, Nelsen (c) (sub Grella 39 mins) , Givet, Olsson, Nzonzi, Andrews, Diouf, Pedersen, Hoilett (sub Roberts 59 mins), Kalinić (sub Dunn 87 mins).

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Reid, Di Santo, Chimbonda.

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen, Knight, Robinson, Steinsson, Ricketts, Gardner, Muamba (sub M. Davies 59 mins), Taylor (sub Weiss 59 mins), Lee, K. Davies, Elmander (sub Klasnic 69 mins).

Subs not used: Al Habsi (GK), Cohen, O'Brien, Wilshire.

Booked: Steinsson (Bolton)

Attendance: 23,888

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