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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Dec 14 at 17:00 PM

Report: Brentford 3 Rovers 1

Rovers suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since March as they went down 3-1 away at Brentford.

The visitors responded well after going behind to a Jonathon Douglas strike, with Rudy Gestede notching his 12th of the campaign on the stroke of half-time.

But the Bees regained the lead through Andre Gray ten minutes into the second half, and after Ben Marshall had struck the post, the home side put daylight between the two sides thanks to Jota's effort.

Substitutes' David Dunn and Jordan Rhodes offered Rovers hope in the closing stages, but the home side held out claim all three points and inflict a first away loss in six outings.

Rovers made just the one change from the side that tasted defeat last time out.

Ryan Tunnicliffe returned to the starting line-up to bolster the midfield, with Jordan Rhodes dropping to the bench.

Injury and illness saw Rovers without Tom Cairney, Chris Brown, Chris Taylor, Tommy Spurr, Matt Kilgallon and Josh King, but Jason Lowe was named amongst the substitutes' - his first involvement since the end of August.

There was also one change for a Brentford eleven that featured former Rovers graduates Jonathon Douglas and Alan Judge, as Jota replaced Jon Toral.

November's Championship player of the month Andre Gray was the first to threaten on a sunny but chilly afternoon in west London.

The forward, who scored five goals last month, took advantage of a deflection to let fly from the edge of the box, but Corry Evans got across well to divert the effort wide of goal. The Bees kept play alive from the resulting corner kick, but captain Tony Craig fired well off target.

Rovers were working hard in the centre of the park with Ryan Tunnicliffe, Ben Marshall and Craig Conway aiding Rudy Gestede up front, but opportunities were limited in the early stages.

Instead it was the home side who took the lead after 16 minutes with a goal out of nothing.

A ball from the right by Moses Odubajo was only half-cleared as far as Brentford full back Jake Bidwell coming from the left and his low shot was diverted into the back of the net by the boot of Douglas.

Marshall had a chance to equalise just past the midway point with a free-kick after Shane Duffy had been fouled, but his 25-yard free-kick flashed the wrong side of David Button's right-hand post.

Defender Duffy had to be in the right place at the right time twice in quick succession with important blocks to deny Gray and Jota as the home side closed in for a second goal. But his tackle on Andre Gray moments later was even more impressive.

Having wriggled free of Grant Hanley's clutches, the striker closed in on goal but the Irishman threw himself in front of the ball to block it with his chest. Alex Pritchard was quick to follow up but his shot was diverted past the post by Jason Steele.

After that it was Rovers who were in the ascendancy, finishing the half strongly.

Lee Williamson threaded a ball through to Marshall, but his shot was well claimed by Button. Then Tunnicliffe sent Markus Olsson on the overlap but Craig defended well with Gestede threatening.

Tunnicliffe almost found Alex Baptiste through on goal but Button claimed, before the Rovers midfielder broke from a Conway pass but Harlee Deen got back with a timely tackle.

Rovers continued to up the ante, eventually getting their reward a minute before half-time.

A quick break through midfield saw Gestede spread play wide to the right to Conway and as the Scot delivered the ball back into the area, the striker acrobatically found the back of the net via a deflection for his 12th of the season.

But after doing so well to get back on level terms just before the break, another slow start saw them fall behind just ten minutes after play resumed in the second half.

Midfield wide-man Jota had already served notice with a left-footed strike that Steele saved well, but the Rovers goalkeeper had no chance as the home side regained the lead a minute later.

As with their first goal there seemed little danger as a ball was played up to Andre Gray, but his mis-hit shot in front of goal actually helped the striker as it gave him the time and space to find the back of the net, squeezing the ball home past two Rovers men on the line.

Stung by going behind, Rovers were within the width of a post from hitting back straight away.

A ball up to Gestede was nodded down into the box, Conway couldn't connect with a diving header, but the fast arriving Marshall was there only to see his thunderous strike crash off the foot of the post and away.

But no sooner had Rovers almost levelled at one end, then they fell further behind at the other with a goal of some fortune for the home side.

Jota's forward run caused concern but as he squared it to Douglas, Conway tackled well but in doing so inadvertently played the ball back into the path of the Spaniard and he fired home to leave Rovers with plenty to do.

The visitors response was to make a double change, Jordan Rhodes and David Dunn coming on for Lee Williamson and Craig Conway, with both going close on more than one occasion in the closing stages.

Button saved well from Dunn from distance before showing sharp reactions to claim a Rhodes flick. Dunn then fired wide on the volley before Rhodes flashed a shot just past the near post.

Rovers continued to press long into the five additional minutes but despite late opportunities they were unable to add to their tally as they tasted a first away defeat in their last six outings.

BRENTFORD: Button, Bidwell, Craig (c), Dean, Douglas, Odubajo, Judge, Gray (sub Proschwitz 87 mins), Diagouraga, Pritchard (sub Smith 87 mins), Jota (sub Dallas 76 mins).

Subs not used: Bonham (GK), Saunders, Toral, Tarkowski.

Goals: Douglas 16 mins, Gray 55 mins, Jota 61 mins

Booked: Diagouraga.

ROVERS: Steele, Baptiste (sub Lowe 79 mins), Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson, Williamson (sub Rhodes 67 mins), Evans, Tunnicliffe, Conway (sub Dunn 67 mins), Marshall, Gestede.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Henley, Varney, Songo'o

Goals: Gestede 45 mins.

Booked: Baptiste, Williamson.

Attendance: 11,848 (1582 Rovers fans).

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