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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 05 Apr 14 at 17:00 PM

Rovers 2 Ipswich Town 0

Second half strikes from Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede saw Rovers defeat Ipswich Town 2-0 at Ewood Park.

After four consecutive draws, Rovers returned to wining ways with what eventually was a comfortable win over Mick McCarthy's side.

After a goalless first half in which there was little between the two sides, the game sprang into life in the second just past the hour mark.

A Grant Hanley ball upfield was volleyed on by Rudy Gestede to strike partner Jordan Rhodes and he made no mistake with a sweet left-foot strike into the corner. His 50th league goal for the club.

Gestede blazed over when well placed, but made amends soon afterwards, arriving through a host of bodies to reach Craig Conway's free-kick and head home.

With a rare two-goal lead Rovers' confidence grew and they could have had more goals, showing great maturity as they saw the game out for a welcome three points.


Just the one change was made by boss Gary Bowyer from the Tuesday night draw with Brighton & Hove Albion as Rudy Gestede replaced David Dunn in the starting eleven.

Dunn dropped to a substitutes bench that also included Dickson Etuhu for only the second time this campaign.

Less than 20 seconds were on the clock when Town keeper Dean Gerken was forced into making the first save of the game, Lee Williamson taking advantage of space opening up in front of him to shoot from distance, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.

After that the game struggled to get going, Town midfielder Jonathan Williams impressing further forward, and it was from his cutback that Daryl Murphy had a chance, but the Irishman fired over first time.

A Corry Evans flick was claimed by Gerken, before after good work from the Irishman he collected a Tom Cairney pass into the area but his cross deflected into the side-netting.

At the other end Murphy powered a header over after yet more good work from Williams, whilst a Cairney curler was well saved by Gerken.

Rudy Gestede was back in the starting eleven, putting himself about in his usual robust fashion, his 25-yard thunderbolt flashing narrowly over the bar.

Then from a Craig Conway free-kick, Michael Keane flicked on but the Ipswich stopper saved well low on his line.

A double chance for the visitors soon followed as Murphy centred for Williams, Matt Kilgallon brilliantly blocked his first effort, the on-loan Palace man denied on the follow-up by Paul Robinson.

Rovers broke from that with Tom Cairney taking up the mantle, but he dragged his shot wide after running half the length of the pitch.

There was still time for a penalty shout before the end of the first half when a long free-kick from Robinson saw Rudy Gestede leap to reach it, he appeared to be pushed to ground but referee Keith Stroud was unmoved.


Rovers pressed with a couple of early corners in the second half, but the Ipswich defence held strong. Then from a Tommy Spurr long throw, the visitors broke quickly through Jonathan Williams but as he burst past Corry Evans he planted his effort from an increasingly tight angle wide of goal.

Paul Robinson was given a sterner test just before the hour mark when Frank Nouble unleashed a powerful shot towards goal from the edge of the box, the Rovers keeper diving to his left to palm the ball away.

Craig Conway blazed over after good work by Rudy Gestede, but moments later the deadlock was finally broken.

Grant Hanley went long with a ball up to Rudy Gestede, the striker leapt high to cushion the ball down into the path of Jordan Rhodes and he needed no second invitation to beat Gerken with a superb left-foot shot across the keeper.

The home side should have doubled their advantage on 76 minutes when a Tommy Spurr low cross found Rhodes in the box, the striker flicked the ball over his shoulder to where Rudy Gestede was lurking but from 10-yards out he somehow fired over the bar.

Thankfully for the Benin international he redeemed himself just four minutes later. After Jordan Rhodes had been fouled near the right corner flag, Craig Conway delivered the ball into the mix and Gestede was there to nod home from close range for his sixth of the season.

The popular frontman soon made way for David Dunn, given a standing ovation as he made his way off after his man-of-the-match performance.

Dickson Etuhu made his return to action as five additional minutes were shown, Rovers went looking for further goals, the impressive Michael Keane teeing up Luke Varney but his shot was blocked, before Tom Cairney also saw a goalbound strike kept out.

After four consecutive draws it was a welcome sight to return to winning ways. Queens Park Rangers are next up at Ewood Park this Tuesday night.

ROVERS: Robinson, Keane, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Spurr, Cairney, Evans (sub Varney 78mins), Williamson (sub Etuhu 90+2 mins), Conway, Gestede (sub Dunn 83 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), King, Taylor, Feeney.

Goals: Rhodes 64 mins, Gestede 80 mins.

Booked: Kilgallon, Williamson.

IPSWICH TOWN: Gerken, Cresswell, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Wordsworth (sub Ebanks-Blake 72 mins), Hyam (sub Green 90 mins), Williams (sub Hunt 86 mins), Nouble.

Subs not used: Loach (GK), Mings, Tabb, Richardson.

Goals: None.

Booked: Wordsworth, Chambers

Attendance: 13281 (including 635 visiting supporters).

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