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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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27 January 2018 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Report: Rovers 1 Northampton 1

Graham rescues a point for a frustrated Rovers at Ewood Park.

27 January 2018

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A second half Danny Graham header salvaged a point for Rovers who were left frustrated by visiting Northampton at Ewood Park.

After John-Joe O’Toole nodded the Cobblers in front early into the game, Rovers struggled to create too many chances and went in at the break a goal down.

But after some pressure, Graham found the net to continue his fine form at home.

However, the hosts failed to find a winner, despite throwing everything at the visitors and could only take a point from a frustrating afternoon.

An unchanged starting XI meant Elliott Bennett continued his central midfield role alongside Richie Smallwood, with Bradley Dack just behind Graham.

Craig Conway and Dominic Samuel offered width for Mowbray's men against a Cobblers side who come into this one on the back of three consecutive victories - their best run of the season.

New signing Amari'i Bell started his Rovers career on the bench, alongside fellow January captures Jack Payne and Adam Armstrong.

For the visitors, former Rovers loanee Matt Grimes, who appeared 13 times for the club in the 2015-16 season, started on his return to Ewood.

It was a decent start from Rovers, but it was the visitors who grabbed the early advantage.

A counter attack eventually found Joe Bunney down the left side and his expert cross found the rampaging O’Toole who snuck in and glanced past David Raya from close range after just 12 minutes.

Things got worse for Rovers just a couple of minutes later as skipper Charlie Mulgrew limped off with an ankle injury, which meant new signing Bell was handed his debut and Conway took the armband.

Rovers were struggling to create for all their possession, with the best opportunities in the opening 30 minutes both coming from Conway shots, which were blocked on both occasions.

It was Conway again who fired narrowly past the upright after a Dark corner wasn’t properly cleared as Rovers looked to build some momentum just ten minutes before half time.

A good start to the second period saw Rovers mount some pressure on Richard O’Donnell’s goal but still struggle to find a way past the Cobblers stopper.

Back saw his venomous strike blocked before Mowbray made a double change just before the hour with Payne and Armstrong replacing Conway and Richie Smallwood.

At the other end Regan Poole blasted well over the bar after being picked out by an O’Toole cross.

Bennett smashed wide of the target and Samuel’s weak header was easy for O’Donnell as the hosts searched for an equaliser.

But a moment later and a lovely Samuel cross was delicately nodded down by Graham and into the back of the net to level things up.

Ewood was rocking and Payne’s whipped corner was flicked on by Paul Downing at the front post but Graham couldn’t connect at the back stick.

Good play from Bell and Bennett found Dack, whose rasping drive was beaten away by O’Donnell as Rovers ramped up the pressure with time running out.

But it wasn’t to be for the hosts, who couldn’t test O’Donnell again and both sides earned a point apiece.

 
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Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c) (Bell, 15), Williams, Smallwood (Armstrong, 57), Bennett, Samuel, Dack, Conway (Payne, 57), Graham.

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Caddis, Travis, Nuttall.

Goal: Graham, 74

Northampton: O'Donnell, Taylor, Hoskins (Powell, 66), Long, O'Toole, Crooks (Foley, 71), Facey, Poole, Grimes, Turnbull, Bunney (Ariyibi, 83).

Unused substitutes: Cornell, Moloney, Revell.

Goal: O’Toole, 12

Attendance: 12,555 (943 away)

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

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