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07 May 2017 Venue Griffin Park Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

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Report: Brentford 1 Rovers 3

Final day win isn't enough

7 May 2017

Blackburn Rovers will ply their trade in the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years despite a last day victory over Brentford.

Whilst Tony Mowbray's side were successful at Griffin Park, wins for Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City condemned Rovers to relegation.

To their credit they did everything they could to take the fight to the final day and when Charlie Mulgrew and Danny Guthrie grabbed early goals, hopes of survival were very much on.

But as goals went in elsewhere, Brentford pulled one back themselves through Lasse Vibe, and although Craig Conway converted a late penalty it provided little consolation.

 

Knowing they needed goals, Rovers went at Brentford straight from the off. Just two minutes in Sam Gallagher made progress down the right before delivering to the near post, but on the slide Danny Graham put the ball the wrong side of the woodwork.

Sergi Canos fired narrowly over after a lovely turn in the box, but a foul from the Spaniard on ten minutes lead to Rovers taking the lead.

Canos brought Elliott Bennett down on the right corner of the box, and up stepped Mulgrew to curl a wonderful free-kick beyond the despairing dive of Daniel Bentley. Postage-stamp stuff.

Six minutes later and the Rovers fans started to believe the great escape could be on when they grabbed a second goal.

Ryan Nyambe sent Gallagher down the right but whilst his effort was cleared to the edge of the box, Guthrie fired home via a deflection for his first Rovers goal.

But with their quick pleasing football, the Bees continued to pose a threat. David Raya got down to deny Jota, before Mulgrew was alert to clear the danger after Vibe had twisted and turned in the area.

However just past the half hour Rovers should have had a third goal. Bennett with a brilliant cross from the left but Gallagher somehow put the ball over the bar at the back post when it seemed easier to score.

Raya was called into the action once more to keep Brentford at bay just before the break. The young Rovers keeper pulling off a fantastic save low to his left to deny Vibe.

There was still time for Rovers to fashion two further opportunities before the break. Derrick Williams lashed over after some great play, before a long goal kick from Raya almost saw Gallagher through, but Bentley got back in the nick of time.

Results elsewhere meant Rovers were still in the bottom three as the second half got under way, the requirement being more goals.

But after Gallagher saw his left-footed shot saved after cutting in from the right, it was the home side who got the all-important third of the match.

It was Brentford captain Harlee Deen who sent a ball into the area, and with a deft flick of the foot Vibe diverted the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 2-1.

To make it a bad couple of minutes, Danny Guthrie limped off, Craig Conway on in his place.

Immediately the Scot was involved, making a nuisance of himself to win the ball high up the field, he fed Graham but the forward lashed over the bar.

But instead it was the home side who looked the likelier of the two to grab another goal. Vibe and Jota both saw shots tipped over by Raya, whilst Canos was just wide of the nets.

With 13 minutes remaining Rovers were stunned that they weren't awarded a penalty when Dean tripped Conway in the box. The Rovers midfielder claimed possession before being upended, but somehow the referee wasn't interested. Both players were booked for arguing their respective cases.

And that yellow card for Dean would prove costly as the Brentford captain would receive his second just six minutes later.

Substitute Marvin Emnes was played through on goal, and as last man he was brought down by Dean, this time it was a penalty, and a red card for the Bees man.

Conway took the honours and made no mistake from 12-yards, blasting the ball straight down the middle high into the roof of the net.

Chants of 'come on Bristol' echoed from the 1600 Roverites as the visitors looked for further goals. Fellow subs Lucas Joao and Emnes, along with Darragh Lenihan all saw efforts, whilst Elliott Bennett saw a late strike tipped over.

But it wasn't about what was happening at Griffin Park, it was the results elsewhere that ultimately condemned Rovers to their fate.

BRENTFORD: Bentley, Dean (c), Yennaris, Kerschbaumer (sub McCormack 65 mins), Sawyers, Clarke, Vibe, Jota, Barbet, Field (sub Bjelland 64 mins), Canos (sub Jozefzoon 87 mins).

Subs not used: Bonham (GK), Hofmann, Egan, Westbrooke.

Goals: Vibe 56 mins.

Booked: Dean 78 mins.

Off: Dean 83 mins.

ROVERS: Raya, Lenihan, Ward (sub Joao 66 mins), Mulgrew, Nyambe, Guthrie (sub Conway 58 mins), Lowe (c), Williams, Bennett, Graham (sun Emnes 72 mins), Gallagher.

Subs not used: Steele (GK), Hoban, Feeney, Akpan.

Goals: Mulgrew 10 mins, Guthrie 16 mins, Conway (pen) 84 mins.

Booked: Conway 78 mins.

Attendance: 11,969 (including 1600 Rovers fans).

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