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Match Report


Posted Sat 23 Nov 13 at 17:00 PM

Rovers 0 Reading 0

Rovers and Reading couldn't be separated after a goalless draw at Ewood Park.

In a game where Rovers had the better of the first and the Royals the better of the second, a draw was just about a fair result.

The first half saw David Dunn have a shot deflected against the crossbar, whilst Tom Cairney was denied by a superb save from Alex McCarthy.

The visitors improved after the break with Kaspars Gorkss heading narrowly over from close-range. They also had strong claims for a penalty after Grant Hanley challenged Chris Gunter in the box, the referee booking the Reading man for simulation.

Both sides pressed late but the deadlock remained.

Rovers made two changes from the side that faced Brighton a fortnight ago.

Back into the eleven came Grant Hanley and David Dunn, they replaced Matt Kilgallon and Alan Judge who dropped to a substitutes bench that featured Ruben Rochina for the first time since the opening game of the season.

The visitors had a former Rover amongst their ranks as Nick Blackman was amongst the Reading subs.

The first half at a chilly Ewood Park was one that Rovers dominated but had no goals to show for it.

David Dunn set the tone on 15 minutes when he cut inside the area onto his left-footed to shoot, the ball deflecting up off defender Kaspars Gorkss and striking the crossbar.

A jinking run from Dunn soon followed but as he looked to tee up Josh King, a Reading defender intercepted for a corner that Grant Hanley would see a header claimed.

Play continued towards the Royal's goal, a sustained spell of pressure ended with a Scott Dann shopt but he sliced high and wide.

Tom Cairney then wrestled free of his marker to shoot from the edge of the box but it was straight into the arms of Alex McCarthy.

The Reading stopper would then pull off the save of the half to deny Cairney once more. Jason Lowe had fed Lee Williamson to the right of the area and as the ball was pulled back Cairney struck but the visiting goalkeeper somehow tipped it over the bar.

The visitors had their moments, Pavel Pogrebnyak having the best of them but he headed Danny Guthrie's centre just wide.

The second half started with a double change for the Royals as Danny Williams and Hope Akpan replaced Chris Baird and Adam Le Fondre.

That seemed to give Nigel Adkin's side a greater impetus as they had the better of the opening exchanges.

On 53 minutes the home side collectively held their breaths when Chris Gunter went down in the penalty area under a risky challenge from Grant Hanley. When the referee's whistle blew immediately all expected a penalty to be given but instead the Reading full back was booked for diving by Geoff Eltringham.

Rovers responded with chances either side of the hour mark, both falling to Joshua King but the Norwegian was off target with both efforts.

Tom Cairney put a free-kick narrowly over before Reading head the best chance of the half, a Danny Guthrie corner was headed across the area by Alex Pearce to his defensive partner Kaspars Gorkss, but the Latvian headed over at the back post.

Reading continued to pose the greater threat, Akpan glancing a header off target, Garath McCleary only finding the side-netting.

The introduction of Ruben Rochina with eight minutes to go for his first Ewood appearance since last January sparked a late effort from Rovers, but despite seeing plenty of the ball, they were unable to make it count where it mattered.

ROVERS: Kean, Kane, Dann (c), Hanley, Spurr, Cairney, Williamson, Lowe, King (sub Rochina 82 mins), Dunn (sub Taylor 66 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kilgallon, Marshall, Judge, Henley.

Goals: None.

Booked: Spurr.

READING: McCarthy, Gunter, Kelly, Pearce, Baird (sub Williams 46 mins), Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre (sub Akpan 46 mins), McCleary (sub Blackman 88 mins), Gorkss, Guthrie (c), Obita.

Subs not used: Federici (GK), McAnuff, Sharp, Taylor.

Goals: None.

Booked: Obita, Gunter, Gorkss.

Attendance: 12,903

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