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Match Report


Posted Sat 05 Dec 15 at 17:00 PM

Report: Bristol City 0 Rovers 2

Rovers picked up their third away win of the season with a comfortable 2-0 victory over ten-man Bristol City.

After a goalless first half at Ashton Gate, it was the Rovers who took full advantage of Nathan Baker's red card minutes into the second period to score two unanswered goals.

A close-range strike from Grant Hanley on the hour saw the visitors in front, and their advantage was doubled four minutes from time as Ben Marshall scored from the penalty spot after Markus Olsson had been fouled.

The victory sees Rovers stretch their unbeaten run to six games, the three points taking them to within five of the play-off places.

Ahead of the match Rovers made just the one change from the side that drew with Sheffield Wednesday as Tom Lawrence returned to the starting XI. He replaced Chris Taylor who dropped to the bench.

Grant Hanley recovered in time to lead the team, but Doneil Henry missed out with a slight tightness of the hamstring.

The home side also made one change as Bobby Reid replaced Marlon Pack who served a one-match suspension. Whilst former Rovers youngster Frank Fielding was named in goal for the Robins.

After Jordan Rhodes had glanced over an early Craig Conway free-kick, it was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the proceedings in a largely uneventful first half.

The Robins were seeing more of the ball in a congested midfield, yet their first meaningful chance came from a 17th minute Rovers attack.

Adam Henley saw his forward ball intercepted and as Reid advanced he cut in from the left to shoot right-footed, but Jason Steele was alert to the danger with a low save.

As Rovers struggled to get their forward play going, Bristol City again went close when only a superb block from Hanley prevented Elliott Bennett from getting an effort on target.

Despite the home side's pressure they should have been down to ten men on the half hour. Nathan Baker had earlier brought down Lawrence for a yellow card before sending Rhodes crashing in similar circumstances, but referee Geoff Eltringham opted to just give the defender a talking to.

In a mistake-laden first half a wayward pass from Kieran Agard then set Shane Duffy in on goal but Fielding blocked the shot, Hope Akpan drove goalwards on the follow-up but Luke Ayling cleared off the line to deny the midfielder a second successive goal.

The Robins saw shouts for a penalty waved away as Agard went down under pressure from Henley, before Reid fired over. Whilst an incisive break from Rovers summed up their first half when Lawrence opted to shoot weakly with Conway in acres of space.

Scot Conway would have the last effort of the first half, but his left-footed strike was easily claimed by Fielding.

Whilst City were fortunate to end the first half with their full compliment of players, within four minutes of the restart they were reduced to ten men.

Looking to attack from the off Rovers made progress down the right before Lawrence was bodychecked by Baker.

The Aston Villa loan man knew what was to come as Eltringham showed yellow followed by the inevitable red.

From the resulting free-kick Lawrence picked out Evans on the edge of the box to shoot but his shot deflected off a Rovers boot and flashed narrowly wide of goal.

Steve Cotterill quickly made a change as defender Liam Moore replaced forward Kieran Agard, but the Leicester man would soon divert a centre behind for a Rovers corner.

Conway's centre picked out Lawrence and as he clipped the ball to the opposite post Duffy cushioned a header into the path of Hanley and he slammed home.

It was the Rovers captain's second of the season and his first goal away from Ewood since the winner at Old Trafford in December 2011.

Aside from an Aden Flint effort that flew over after a scramble, it was Rovers looking to double their advantage.

Evans saw another strike from the edge of the box deflect wide, before substitute Chris Taylor's low shot was claimed by Fielding after good work from Akpan.

Paul Lambert sent on Danny Guthrie for the hardworking Evans, before Chris Brown was handed his first league outing of the season, replacing Rhodes on 83 minutes.

The striker's hold-up play played it's part in Rovers' second, Conway sent Markus Olsson racing into the penalty area before being sent crashing by Flint for an obvious penalty.

With Rhodes off the pitch penalty the honours were taken by Ben Marshall and he made no mistake from the spot as he drove into the bottom-right corner with Fielding diving in the opposite direction.

Rovers could have had more goals in the closing stages as they continued to force the pace, the 1000 or so travelling supporters delighted to cheer their team home to a third away victory in their last four outings.

BRISTOL CITY: Fielding, Williams (sub Bryan 84 mins), Flint, Ayling, Smith (c), Agard (sub Moore 56 mins), Bennett, Reid, Freeman (sub Wilbraham 66 mins), Baker, Kodjia.

Subs not used: O'Leary (GK), Little, Cox, Burns.

Goals: None

Booked: Baker

Off: Baker

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson, Marshall, Evans (sub Guthrie 76 mins), Akpan, Conway, Lawrence (sub Taylor 71 mins), Rhodes (sub Brown 83 mins). 

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Spurr, Kilgallon, Williamson.

Goals: Hanley 59 mins, Marshall (pen) 86 mins.

Booked: Lawrence

Attendance: 15,021 (Including 953 Rovers fans)

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