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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 13 Sep 14 at 17:00 PM

Rovers 3 Wigan Athletic 1

Rovers came from behind to register a welcome and worthy three points thanks to a 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic.

A second half brace from Ben Marshall and a header from Jordan Rhodes saw Rovers rally to claim a deserved victory.

Ivan Ramis missed a first half penalty for the visitors as he blazed over from 12-yards, but Wigan took the lead five minutes into the second half when a long-range strike from James Perch crept home.

But Rovers' response was immediate and emphatic, Ben Marshall firing home from outside the box for his first of the campaign.

Moments later the turnaround was complete as Jordan Rhodes headed home a Craig Conway free-kick.

Substitute Luke Varney then went close on two occasions to increasing the home side's advantage, but Marshall would have no such concerns, curling a sublime third to complete a pleasing afternoon for both player and Rovers.


Before the game Rovers made three changes from the side that faced Wolves a fortnight ago.

Matt Kilgallon, Markus Olsson and Rudy Gestede all returned to the starting XI, with Jason Lowe, Lee Williamson and Adam Henley making way.

The three deadline day signings, Jason Steele, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Shane Duffy were all named amongst the substitutes, whilst two of Wigan's transfer window signings William Kvist and Andy Delort both started for Uwe Rosler's side.

It was a bright opening in the bright Ewood sunshine as Rovers fashioned the first chance of the match after just four minutes.

A spell of early possession saw Craig Conway work the ball over to the left to where Markus Olsson took advantage of the space afforded to him by sweeping a ball into the area, Jordan Rhodes rose well to meet the cross but Scott Carson dived to his right to tip the header low around the post.

Wigan responded with a chance of their own as Emerson Boyce headed wide an Emyr Huws corner, but what followed was a 20-minute period where neither goal was threatened as the two sides cancelled each other out.

The visitors were content to let Rovers have the majority of possession, but they couldn't make the most of the ball when it came their way, whilst the Latics earned several corners without troubling Paul Robinson.

It was only in the last ten minutes of the first half that the game sprang into life, Rudy Gestede heading wide from a Craig Conway corner, before Rovers were once again on the wrong end of a penalty decision.

Ben Marshall looked to have been fouled as he mis-placed a pass to Callum McManaman and as the Latics forward twisted and turned in the area he went down under an apparent Alex Baptiste challenge.

There were howls of derision as referee Roger East pointed to the spot, but thankfully Wigan defender Ivan Ramis blazed the spot-kick high over the bar.

Aside from a Markus Olsson effort that was easily gathered by Carson, it was the visitors who ended the half the stronger of the two sides. Paul Robinson called upon to save well after a near-post shot from McManaman before the first half ended with an excellent chance for Emerson Boyce but the Wigan defender headed over when well placed.


The opening goal of the game came just five minutes into the second half and it was the visitors who were celebrating.

Good work from the impressive Emyr Huws saw his cross cleared only as far as James Perch and the defender hit a 25-yard strike through a sea of bodies, the ball creeping into the far corner.

But Rovers' response was emphatic, turning the game to their advantage with two strikes in the following five minutes.

On 53 minutes the home side were back on level terms thanks to a first goal of the season from Ben Marshall.

Craig Conway was the provider as he centred from the right, the ball cleared only as far as the Rovers midfielder and he lashed the ball low and beyond Carson into the back of the net.

Three minutes later and Rovers were in front for the first time in the match.

Following a foul on Markus Olsson close to the left touchline, Conway delivered into the box to where Jordan Rhodes headed home his third of the season. Three in three games.

Rudy Gestede was replaced on 62 minutes, the big man had worked hard on his return from injury as Luke Varney took over.

Rovers then had three great opportunities to put the game beyond the Latics. Only the fingertips of Carson prevented Marshall from scoring another thunderbolt, the former England man flinging himself to his right to turn the shot aside.

Luke Varney had a lively cameo in the half hour he was involved. On 76 he came close to notching his first Rovers goal as he raced to reach an Olsson cross, but the ball was just behind the forward and he couldn't readjust in time to find the back of the net.

Moments later the former Leeds man was in the thick of the action once more, a lovely weighted pass from Tom Cairney sent Varney through on goal but his shot was diverted around the post by the outstretched boot of Carson.

Thankfully for Rovers those missed chances didn't prove costly as the home side grabbed a deserved third nine minutes from time.

It started with Marshall retaining possession in the centre of the park before feeding Cairney who used the overlapping run of Markus Olsson as a decoy to return the ball to Marshall and he curled a sublime effort into the far corner of the net.

The decision to play Marshall behind the forwards paying dividends as he notched his second of the game.

Ryan Tunnicliffe was given his debut as a late substitute as he replaced man-of-the-match Marshall, and whilst Andrew Taylor spurned a great chance to reduce the scoreline deep in injury time it wouldn't have taken the gloss off what was a thoroughly deserved three points for Gary Bowyer's side.

Rovers have little time to celebrate the win, football returns to Ewood Park this Wednesday night when Derby County are the visitors.

ROVERS: Robinson, Baptiste, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Olsson, Conway (sub Taylor 86 mins), Evans, Cairney, Marshall (sub Tunnicliffe 90+1 mins), Rhodes, Gestede (sub Varney 62 mins).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), King, Williamson, Duffy.

Goals: Marshall 53, 81 mins, Rhodes 56 mins.

Booked: Cairney.

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Carson, Taylor, Ramis, Huws (sub Forshaw 80 mins), McManaman (sub Waghorn 80 mins), Boyce (c), Cowie, Perch, Kiernan, Kvist (sub Maloney 63 mins), Delort.

Subs not used: Al-Habsi (GK), Tavernier, Riera, Barnett.

Goals: Perch 51 mins.

Booked: Delort, Waghorn.

Attendance: 15,782 (including 2079 visiting supporters).

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