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Match Report


Posted Sat 04 Dec 10 at 17:21 PM

Report: Rovers 3 Wolves 0

Rovers went some way to banishing the memories of the Manchester United loss with a 3-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After last week's heavy defeat manager Sam Allardyce got the response he sought as Rovers comfortably defeated the Black Country side at Ewood Park.

The early proceedings would suggest the match would be far from easy for Rovers as first Stephen Ward then Ronald Zubar struck the frame of Paul Robinson's goal inside the opening five minutes. But once David Dunn headed home Morten Gamst Pedersen's 29th minute corner there was only going to be one winner.

A second followed just before the break when Jason Roberts teed up Brett Emerton to smash home, ten minutes after the restart Ryan Nelsen escaped gold and black clutches to to guide Pedersen's free-kick beyond Hennessey.

To their credit Wolves never lost heart and they could have reduced arrears had it not been for the sparkling form of Paul Robinson who made three stunning second half saves, but the points belonged to Rovers, the win seeing them rise to 8th in the table.

Ahead of the game Sam Allardyce was able to welcome back Gaël Givet after illness and Morten Gamst Pedersen after injury, with Pascal Chimbonda and Herold Goulon dropping out of the 18. Whilst Wolves themselves made two changes with Berra and Mouyokolo in for Stearman and Jones.

Despite the chilly conditions, the match started at a tremendous pace with the visitors creating some excellent early chances.

After Matt Jarvis had seen a second minute near post shot turned aside by Paul Robinson, Wolves then struck the woodwork twice in quick succession.

First Stephen Ward cut in from the left to shoot across goal, Robinson getting fingertips to the ball as it ficked off the outside of the far post, then as the ball broke back to Ronald Zubar, the defender saw his lofted effort come down off the crossbar and the post. An early double escape for Rovers.

The home side the created a flurry of chances of their own. Only fingertips from Wayne Hennessey prevented El-Hadji Diouf's centre reaching the head of a well-placed Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Brett Emerton fired over after racing onto a Diouf ball over the top, whilst a fizzing Pedersen free-kick flashed wide.

After a static period where both sides cancelled each other out, the deadlock was eventually broken, just ahead of the half hour mark.

Inevitably Rovers' man of the moment Morten Gamst Pedersen played some part, sending in a 29th minute corner to the back post, Ryan Nelsen headed the Norwegian's ball back into the mix and David Dunn was there to power a header home from the edge of the six yard box for his first of the campaign.

Wolves response was a swerving effort from Nenad Milijas, Paul Robinson beating the midfielder's long-range strike away.

After their bright opening Mick McCarthy's side looked stunned and Rovers sensed a second. It very nearly came courtesy of a Pedersen free-kick played into the danger area, defender Christophe Berra fortunate to see his back-header go just wide of the post, the visitors struggling with balls into the box.

Two minutes from the break and the Rovers lead was doubled in straightforward yet stunning circumstances.

Michel Salgado launched a long ball forward and as Jason Roberts held off Steven Mouyokolo he cleverly flicked the ball into the path of Brett Emerton and the Australian made no mistake lashing past Hennessey into the top right corner of his goals.

It was Emerton's first home goal for five years.

Mick McCarthy wasted little time at the break in shuffling his pack, replacing a defender for an attacker as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was introduced at the expense of Steven Mouyokolo.

Then perhaps surprisingly, as Michael Mancienne was moved back into the centre of defence after the first substitute, the on-loan Chelsea man was then substituted himself, Stephen Hunt on to replace, prompting another defensive change with Zubar partnering Berra at the back.

Sensing there may be opportunities on the break, Rovers made a change of their own, bringing on Mame Biram Diouf for David Dunn. But the Senegal man couldn't lay claim to playing a part in Rovers third, that would rest firmly between Pedersen and Ryan Nelsen as the Norwegian curled over a 55th minute free-kick and Nelsen broke from the pack to guide the ball past Hennessey and into the far corner of the net.

Matt Jarvis wasted a great opportunity at the back post when he fired off target, whilst at the other end a run from halfway by Phil Jones saw him take on all-comers, but his tame shot was kept out by Hennessy.

Despite being down by three goals, to their credit Wolves didn't give up with Paul Robinson called upon to make two vital saves.

The first was from full back George Elokobi who's deflected strike saw the Rovers number one at full stretch to push aside. But that save was upstaged seven minutes later when he made a sensational one-handed stop to deny Stephen Hunt.

Sam Allardyce was able to give Josh Morris his home debut as he came on to replace El-Hadji Diouf, whilst Benjani made a welcome return to action taking the place of Jason Roberts who was applauded off after another hardworking display.

Hunt again tested Robinson deep into injury but the imperious number one wasn't to be beaten, diving to his right to claw the ball away, that one the pick of the bunch.

Rovers could have added a fourth at the death but Pedersen and Mame Biram Diouf saw efforts blocked, but that didn't dampen the spirits as Rovers celebrated a fourth win in six games that sees them move up to 8th in the table.

ROVERS: Robinson, Salgado, Samba (c), Nelsen, Givet, Emerton, Jones, Pedersen, EH Diouf (sub Morris 73 mins), Dunn (sub MB Diouf 52 mins), Roberts (sub Benjani 83 mins).

Subs not used: Bunn, Kalinić, Hoilett, Hanley.

WOLVES: Hennessey, Elokobi, Ward, Berra, Jarvis, Milijas, Mancienne (sub Hunt 52 mins), Mouyokolo (sub Ebanks-Blake 46 mins), Zubar, Doyle, Foley (c).

Subs not used: Hahnemann (GK), Stearman, Bent, Winnall, Doherty.

Booked: Hunt (Wolves)

Attendance: 22,314

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