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Match Report


Posted Tue 08 Apr 14 at 21:45 PM

Rovers 2 Queens Park Rangers 0

Rovers made it back-to-back wins courtesy of a 2-0 triumph over Queens Park Rangers.

Gary Bowyer's side built on their victory over Ipswich Town at the weekend with a classy display at Ewood Park.

Rudy Gestede, with his second in as many games, opened the scoring with a great turn and strike from 25-yards after just nine minutes. His seventh goal in a Rovers shirt.

The only surprise was that it wasn't until the 49th minute that Rovers added a second, Tommy Spurr racing into the area to beat Robert Green at his near post after excellent play from Lee Williamson and Craig Conway.

The visitors rarely threatened, Ravel Morrison's fine shot on the turn in the first half was beaten away by Paul Robinson, whilst the closest they came in the second was a Will Keane effort that struck the post.

Rovers could have had more, Gestede saw a goal chalked off and had a header flash over the bar. Jason Lowe saw a shot deflected wide, whilst Luke Varney was also inches wide as the home side closed the game out comfortably.

The victory sees Rovers reduce the gap to the top six to four points, it is still all to play for with Sheffield Wednesday next up on Saturday.

Just the one change was made to the side that defeated Ipswich Town 2-0 at the weekend.

With Corry Evans missing out with a groin injury, a fit again Jason Lowe returned to the starting XI.

For the Hoops, their line-up included former Rover Junior Hoilett, whilst Michael Keane was up against his brother Will.

There were a couple of early nervy moments as both Grant Hanley and Paul Robinson struggled to deal with the threat of Will Keane, but after that it was Rovers who really came to the fore.

After Jordan Rhodes couldn't direct a 7th minute header on target his strike partner Rudy Gestede was much more accurate, advancing in possession before blasting an unstoppable shot beyond Robert Green. A 25-yard thunderbolt as Gestede celebrated with delight.

The trickery and guile of Junior Hoilett and Ravel Morrison always posed a threat in what was a breathless opening.

Tom Cairney couldn't pick out Rhodes after good work from Gestede, then only a last-ditch intervention from Luke Young prevented Rhodes from bursting through.

Rovers continued to press, Rhodes denied by Green with a shot from an outstretched boot, whilst following a pair of corners, Grant Hanley headed over from Conway's delivery.

The visitor's best chance of the first half fell to the lively Morrison, meeting a Danny Simpson cross to volley superbly, Paul Robinson equally adept to beat the effort away.

There were further headed opportunities as Gestede and Michael Keane both went close, as Rovers more than deserved their half-time lead.

No sooner had the two teams resumed to do battle than Rovers were celebrating their second goal.

Neat interplay between Lee Williamson and Craig Conway saw defence turned into attack, and as the Scott played the ball inside Tommy Spurr raced into the area, with options to his right the defender surprised the goalkeeper with a well-struck low effort that crept home at the near post.

Then only a last-ditch challenge from Luke Young stopped Rhodes from getting a clear sight of goal from Gestede's defence splitting pass.

Rovers remained rampant, a marauding Michael Keane saw his cross cut out by Richard Dunne but quick thinking by Conway saw him steal possession, turn and shoot, but Green claimed his effort.

On 63 Rovers had the ball in the net for a third time but it wasn't to count. It was an impressive move nevertheless as a Craig Conway cross was headed back by Grant Hanley for Gestede to flick home, but Hanley had strayed behind the line when nodding the ball back.

Such was Rovers' second half dominance that it was 20 minutes before the visitors threatened Paul Robinson's goal. However they should have reduced the two-goal deficit when after Junior Hoilett's run the ball ran to Will Keane, but with the goal at his mercy the young forward struck the foot of the post.

That would be Will Keane's final act as Harry Redknapp made a double change, Modibo Maiga and Charlie Austin brought on for Kean and Tom Carroll.

Despite those changes play continued towards Rob Green's goal, Jason Lowe unfortunate to see an effort deflect wide after good work.

Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede both made way after excellent displays once again as David Dunn and Luke Varney came on. Varney going close to making it three after breaking in on goal, but his shot across the bows just missed the far post.

Like on Saturday against Ipswich Town, the addition of the older heads in the closing stages gave Rovers the composure to see the game out comfortably, to claim back-to-back 2-0 home wins.

ROVERS: Robinson; Keane, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Spurr; Cairney, Williamson (sub Etuhu 85 mins), Lowe, Conway; Gestede (sub Varney 77 mins), Rhodes (sub Dunn 73 mins).

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

Goals: Gestede 9 mins, Spurr 49 mins.

Booked: None.

QPR: Green, Simpson, Morrison, Dunne (c), Carroll (sub Maiga 68 mins), Keane (sub Austin 69 mins), Henry, Young, Hoilett, Benayoun, Assou-Ekotto (sub Suk-Young 78 mins).

Subs not used: Murphy (GK), Zamora, O'Neil, Donaldson.

Goals: None.

Booked: Simpson.

Attendance: 12,915 (including 410 visiting supporters)

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