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Match Report


Posted Sun 11 Jan 15 at 16:00 PM

Report: Rovers 0 Wolves 1

Rovers first home game of 2015 ended in defeat as they went down 1-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

David Edwards goal three minutes into the second half gave the visitors all three points in a match in which they had the better of the chances.

The first half was a close contest as Nouha Dicko twice went close for Wolves, whilst Ben Marshall had the best opportunities for Rovers.

However in the second it was Kenny Jackett's side who took control and once Edwards had latched onto Dicko's pass to score there was only ever going to be one winner.

The visitor's advantage should have been greater as they missed further chances. Edwards poked wide, before Dicko struck the crossbar from another incisive break, Rajiv Van La Parra wasteful on the follow-up.

Rovers tested Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal in the closing stages, but he easily dealt with efforts from Craig Conway and Josh King.

The result sees Rovers remain in tenth place, the win for the visitors sees them move closer to the top six.

Rovers made six changes from the side that defeated Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup for the first home game of 2015.

Jason Steele, Alex Baptiste, Grant Hanley, Markus Olsson, Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede all returned to the starting eleven for the encounter against Wolves.

The visitors made four changes themselves from their cup draw with Fulham, as Kevin McDonald, Rajiv Van La Parra, Kortney Hause and Nouha Dicko all came into the side.

Those Rovers changes saw them line-up with a diamond formation in midfield, Lee Williamson at the base and Ben Marshall at the tip, with Tom Cairney and Chris Taylor in the centre.

Marshall flashed an early effort wide before Williamson inadvertently played Nouha Dicko in on goal with a poor back pass, but from an increasingly tight angle, Steele saved at his near post to deny the Wolves striker.

Markus Olsson, fresh from signing a new deal, then sent over a teasing cross, Gestede was first with a connection, Rhodes followed in but he couldn't keep his header down.

Dicko again almost benefitted from some poor defensive play as Cairney's pass was intercepted, Grant Hanley blocking the shot before heading behind a dangerous centre as the visitors continued to threaten.

Cairney redeemed himself with a slide-rule pass that played Chris Taylor into an advanced position, however despite having options further forward the midfielder opted to shoot as he looked to follow up last week's two goals, but his effort wasn't troubling Carl Ikeme.

A lovely flowing move saw Marshall go closer from a Rhodes cross but he couldn't direct his header on target, before a free-kick awarded in Rovers favour saw Marshall test Ikeme from 25-yards, the Wolves man saving well to his left.

But whilst Rovers were creating opportunities going forward, they were always susceptible at the back. Rhodes having to head off the line as Danny Batth sent a header goalwards from a James Henry corner kick.

Rovers started to edge the half as the clock ticked into added time, but Rhodes couldn't direct an Olsson centre on target.

It was the visitors who had the perfect start to the second half as they opened the scoring just three minutes in.

Nouha Dicko did well to keep possession before playing in Dave Edwards and the midfielder showed good composure to advance before beating Jason Steele with a shot from the edge of the box to leave Rovers with plenty to do.

However, the home side were within the width of a post from hitting back straight away. Tom Cairney's teasing centre was headed back by Richard Stearman only for it to strike the foot of the post and bounce away.

As the rain started to drift across Ewood Park Rovers pressed for a way back into the match, Rudy Gestede with a fizzing shot on the turn which Ikeme did well to tip over.

Instead it was the visitors who were looking the more likely to get a second as the gaps stared to open.

Rajiv Van La Parra fired wide across goal, before Batth perhaps should have done better from a Henry free-kick into the area, the Wolves captain arriving at pace but unable to keep his header down.

Another Wolves attack saw Rovers carved open once more as Dicko fed Henry, he swept the ball into the six-yard box but Edwards couldn't add to his earlier strike as he stretched to poke wide.

That prompted Gary Bowyer into making his first change of the afternoon as Craig Conway replaced Alex Baptiste, Marshall switching to right back in the process.

That didn't stop Wolves from spurning another great chance, another break saw Dicko slam a shot against the crossbar, Van La Parra wasteful on the rebound with the goal at his mercy.

Chris Brown was introduced at the expense of Rudy Gestede and Josh King replaced Lee Williamson in an attempt to gain some forward momentum, but against a well-drilled Wolves defence, chances were few and far between.

The best opportunities came in the closing minutes but they couldn't beat Carl Ikeme. The Wolves stopper denying Conway with his legs, before getting down sharply to stop a King shot.

However despite Rovers throwing more bodies further forward in the closing stages, it was the visitors who comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to claim a fully deserved three points.

ROVERS: Steele, Baptiste (sub Conway 71 mins), Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson, Taylor, Cairney, Williamson (sub King 80 mins), Marshall, Rhodes, Gestede (sub Brown 74 mins).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kilgallon, Dunn, Evans.

Goals: None.

Booked: Marshall, Hanley.

WOLVES: Ikeme, Edwards, Stearman, Batth (c), Henry, McDonald, Van La Parra, Price (sub Ebanks-Landell 90+2 mins), Hause, Iorfa, Dicko (sub Doherty 86 mins).

Subs not used: Kuszczak, Clarke, Evans, McAlinden, Jacobs.

Goals: Edwards 48 mins.

Booked: McDonald.

Attendance: 15,335 (including 1498 visiting supporters)

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