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10 March 2018 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Report: Rovers 3 Blackpool 0

Adam Armstrong's brace adds to Bradley Dack's opener as Rovers run out comfortable winners at home

10 March 2018

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An Adam Armstrong brace ensured Rovers picked up another crucial three points against Gary Bowyer's Blackpool at Ewood Park.

The February Player of the Month bagged two different goals - the first of which was a peach - to add to Bradley Dack's opener on the stroke of half time.

The double kept up the striker's excellent run of form and he now has seven goals in his last seven games and three in his two games in March.

In truth, it wasn't a vintage Rovers performance, but at this stage points are more important than performances and the hosts were clinical when the chances did come their way.

A clean sheet for David Raya and the defence was an added bonus, as Tony Mowbray's table-toppers continued their charge at the summit of League One.

Mowbray made one change to the team, with playmaker Jack Payne coming in for Corry Evans, with the Northern Irishman dropping to the bench.

Payne was situated on the right of a three-man attack behind Danny Graham, and joined Adam Armstrong and Dack in completing that trio.

Returning to the Rovers bench was Dominic Samuel, who has recovered from the ankle injury picked up at Walsall a couple of weeks ago.

Ex-Rovers boss and current Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer included former Rovers pair Jay Spearing and Nathan Delfouneso in his starting XI, whilst there were further links to both sides with Andy Taylor starting on the bench for the Tangerines, and members of Bowyer's backroom staff in Terry McPhillips and Andy Todd also being former Ewood employees.

A positive start from the hosts led to Graham knocking the ball down for Dack, whose sweetly struck effort was held well by Joe Lumley in the Blackpool goal.

14 minutes in and the visitors had the best opportunity of the game through the returning Delfouneso after Viv Solomon-Otabor’s left-wing cross found him at the back post, but Spanish stopper Raya was there to get a big glove on the ball and turn the ball over the bar.

But from that cross, Ryan Nyambe pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury and had to be taken off in place of Evans.

That meant Mowbray had to juggle the pack and Elliott Bennett moved to right back with Evans joining Richie Smallwood in the middle of the park.

After a spell of possession, Payne drilled a shot wide of the target after being set up by Smallwood. Rovers were struggling to find their usual flow and Sean Longstaff fired wide as the opener remained elusive.

Graham and Dack combined again as the striker nodded down and the playmaker saw his goal bound effort flicked over the bar by defender Curtis Tilt just after the half hour mark.

Evans was influencing the game more with his late runs and he set up Armstrong, who attempted to dink the ball over Lumley inside the box but also dinked it over the upright.

And a minute later the two worked together again; this time Armstrong’s header was just a little too high for Evans, who nicked the ball goal wards but saw Lumley hold his attempt.

Just when it looked like both sides would be going into the dressing rooms for their half time team talks level, the hosts took the lead through Dack’s 15th goal of the season.

The playmaker got on the end of a wicked Charlie Mulgrew free kick from the left side to glance a header beyond the dive of Lumley to hand his side the advantage going into the break.

Into the second half, Derrick Williams floated a head over the bar after another good delivery from the left boot of captain Mulgrew.

Just when the Tangerines were putting pressure on the Rovers defence, Armstrong came up with a piece of class to ensure further daylight between the two sides.

A ball in was set up nicely for the Newcastle loanee by Dack and Armstrong brilliantly curled into the top corner first time for a goal of the season contender.

Moments later and Armstrong almost produced a carbon copy of his earlier strike, but this time his effort flew over Lumley's bar.

There was still time to go and with five minutes remaining, Graham was in the right place at the right time to head Colin Daniel's effort off the line, before substitute Armand Gnanduillet nodded wide of the target a moment later.

In the final minute Armstrong added gloss to the scoreline as he cooly swept into the bottom corner first time after Bennett raced to the byline and picked him out.

That ensured a deserved victory for Rovers who were deadly in front of goal and ticked off another game with a three-point haul in front of the home supporters.

We've nine games to go and the next one comes at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium next Saturday. Tickets remain for the clash and you can purchase yours by clicking here

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe (Evans, 16), Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Bennett, Smallwood, Payne (Conway, 70), Dack (Bell, 77), Armstrong, Graham.

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Samuel, Antonsson, Downing.

Goals: Dack, 46, Armstrong, 69, 90.

Booked: Evans, 48, Mulgrew, 85.

Blackpool: Lumley, Robertson, Vassell (Agyei, 75), Ryan (c), Longstaff, Tilt, Solomon-Otabor (Philliskirk, 75), Turton, Daniel, Delfouneso, Spearing (Gnanduillet, 70).

Unused subtitutes: Taylor, Aimson, D'Almeida, Mafoumbi.

Booked: Vassell, 51, Delfouneso, 59.

Referee: Lee Probert.

Attendance: 13,230 (1,114 away).

 

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