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30 September 2017 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Rovers v Gillingham team news

Whittingham returns as Evans drops to the bench

30 September 2017

Rovers have made one change from the side that defeated Rotherham United on Tuesday night.

Back into the starting eleven comes Peter Whittingham, he is preferred to Corry Evans in the centre of midfield. The Northern Irishman drops to the bench.

Today's visitors make three changes from the side that drew with Scunthorpe in midweek.

Conor Wilkinson, Lee Martin and Josh Parker all come in, with Luke O'Neill, Alex Lacey and Elliott List the men making way.

ROVERS: Raya, Williams, Smallwood, Samuel, Whittingham, Mulgrew (c), Caddis, Antonsson, Dack, Downing, Bennett.

Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Hart, Chapman, Graham, Ward, Gladwin, Evans.

GILLINGHAM: Holy, Ehmer, Zakuai, Hessenthaler, Wilkinson, Martin (c), Ogilvie, Parker, Nugent, Clare, Byrne.

Subs: Arnold (GK), Oldaker, List, Simpson, Cundle, O'Mara, Starkey.

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Match Reports

Rovers 1 Gillingham 0

Samuel on target once more to secure the points

30 September 2017

Dominic Samuel scored the winner against one of his former clubs, as Rovers made it back-to-back home wins with a 1-0 victory over Gillingham.

Samuel, who scored seven times in 25 appearances during a loan spell with the Gills during the 2015-16 season, netted the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark with a predatory finish from a corner.

Having gone five games without a goal and having hit the woodwork twice in midweek, Samuel was evidently delighted to dispatch his fifth goal of the campaign. 

Rovers' lead at the break could have been greater, as Marcus Antonsson had several opportunities to get on the scoresheet, whilst David Raya made a fine save to deny Ben Nugent at the other end.

After the interval, Derrick Williams was a post's-width away from doubling the hosts' lead, whilst Raya again came to Rovers' rescue late on, making a superb save to thwart substitute Elliott List.

Rovers saw the game out to secure the points, which rounds off an impressive week's work, having held runaway league leaders Shewsbury Town to a 1-1 draw last weekend, before beating Rotherham United 2-0 at Ewood Park in midweek.

Ahead of the game, Rovers made one change to the side that defeated the Millers on Tuesday night.

Peter Whittingham returned to the starting line-up for the first time since August, with Corry Evans, who goes away with Northern Ireland next week, dropping to the bench.

Having only just returned to training, Craig Conway, Rekeem Harper, Scott Wharton and Ryan Nyambe weren't risked, but Ben Gladwin did make the 18 after recovering from a thigh strain.

The visitors made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Scunthorpe in midweek.

Conor Wilkinson, Lee Martin and Josh Parker all came back in, with Luke O'Neill, Alex Lacey and List the men making way.

Rovers started strongly, dominating possession from the off and they created the game's first opening on six minutes.

After Gillingham failed to clear their lines from a corner, Paul Downing delivered the ball back into the box and Antonsson headed over the bar.

Moments later, Samuel strode forward, before blazing high and wide, and then Antonsson's attempted curler was well off target.

Rovers went closer on 27 minutes, as Richie Smallwood's cross picked out the unmarked Antonsson and his header had to be tipped around the post.

From the resulting corner, Downing saw appeals for handball waved away and then Bradley Dack's low drive was saved by Tomas Holy.

The goal was coming and it duly arrived on the half-hour mark. Dack's corner was headed goalwards by Charlie Mulgrew and Samuel took a touch before stabbing the ball into the bottom corner for his fifth of the season.

Rovers rode their luck on 39 minutes, as Nugent bundled his way through on goal, but Raya made a superb save from point-blank range.

The first real chance of the second half went Rovers' way on 58 minutes, as Dack and Samuel combined brilliantly, but Dack's effort from the edge of the area was straight at Holy.

Rovers made a change on the hour mark, bringing on Harry Chapman in place of Dack, but it was the visitors who twice went close in quick succession.

On 61 minutes, Wilkinson's shot across the face of goal fizzed just past the far post and moments later, Raya's clearance hit Parker, but the Rovers keeper just got back to save his blushes.

Chapman made the impact the fans wanted to see on 77 minutes, as Rovers were a whisker away from doubling their lead.

The youngster did brilliantly down the left to win a corner and from his deep cross, fellow substitute Danny Graham headed the ball down to Williams, whose crisp left-foot strike cannoned back off the base of the post. Downing's goal-bound shot on the follow-up was then blocked.

Trailing by just a single goal, the visitors were always in with a shout and Raya was forced to come to Rovers' rescue eight minutes from time.

The Spanish keeper pulled off a sensational reaction save to keep out List's close-range effort and Martin fired the follow-up into the side-netting.

Tony Mowbray's side saw out the remaining minutes to claim the points, which makes it six wins and draw from Rovers' last eight league games.

Up next at Ewood Park is the visit of Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, before Rovers head into the international break having climbed into the top six and with a game in hand.

ROVERS: Raya, Caddis, Downing, Mulgrew, Williams, Smallwood, Whittingham, Bennett, Antonsson (Gladwin 87), Dack (Chapman 60), Samuel (Graham 75).

Subs not used: Leutwiler, Ward, Hart, Evans.

Goal: Samuel (30)
Booked: Chapman.

GILLINGHAM: Holy, Ehmer, Zakuai, Hessenthaler, Wilkinson (Cundle 75), Martin, Ogilvie, Parker, Nugent, Clare (List 70), Byrne (O'Mara 60).

Subs not used: Arnold, Oldaker, Simpson, Starkey.

Booked: Byrne, Clare.

Attendance: 10,844 (400 Gillingham fans)

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