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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-1
01 January 2019 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 2 West Bromwich Albion 1

Terrific team performance sees Rovers earn all three points after a battling display against the Baggies at Ewood

1 January 2019

Rovers responded from festive disappointment to earn a crucial three points to start 2019 in style against West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park.

Second half goals from Charlie Mulgrew and Bradley Dack put Rovers in command before the hour mark, before Jay Rodriguez pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

Rovers battled, dug in and showed grit to earn all three points, throwing their bodies on the line against a Baggies side who ended the game with 10 men after Jake Livermore saw red late on after taking down the superb Lewis Travis.

Following defeat at Sheffield United just three days earlier, Mowbray recalled Amari'i Bell, Corry Evans, Dack, Adam Armstrong and Danny Graham to the starting lineup.

Graham returned after being an unused substitute at Bramall Lane, and replaced Ben Brereton, who dropped to the bench.

Available as substitutes were Joe Rothwell and Kasey Palmer, who both started the game against the Blades last time out, whilst there was also a return to the squad for Craig Conway.

Rovers began brightly and after Evans dragged wide, another returnee in the form of Graham saw Sam Johnstone in his way when he poked goalwards inside the opening five minutes.

Rovers were rampant in the early stages and Graham saw an opponent in his way when he headed towards the back of the net a few moments later.

At the other end, Harvey Barnes escaped the clutches of Elliott Bennett down the flank but saw David Raya in his way after cutting inside from the Albion left.

It was a very watchable game, even though the chances had dried up a little, with Raya being called into action late into the half to claim Craig Dawson's bouncing header after he was picked out by a deep Matt Phillips free kick.

Rovers went in at the break the better team and deservedly took the lead early into the second half as for the second time this season Mulgrew scored direct from a corner kick.

West Brom responded and Hal Robson-Kanu rifled towards goal from the edge of the box, but Raya was alert to grab at the second time of asking.

Just before the hour and 1-0 became 2-0 as a lethal counter attack saw Armstrong find Dack, who cut onto his left foot before curling emphatically past Johnstone and into the top corner.

But four minutes later the visitors were handed a lifeline when Dack tripped Harvey Barnes in the box and up stepped Rodriguez, who smashed into the corner, just beyond the despairing dive of Raya.

Albion's tails were up by this point and Kieran Gibbs cut inside a moment later before seeing his right-footed effort fly past Raya's left-hand post.

Rovers knew they would have to ride a storm, and Mowbray made the change to go for two up top and defend from the front with Armstrong and Graham.

Time was running out for Albion to sneak an equaliser and their task was made harder with three minutes remaining when Jake Livermore was shown a straight red for an off the ball incident with Travis.

Rovers had to dig in late on, with Travis and Mugrew both hurling themselves in front of West Brom strikes, but the team held on for a confidence-boosting win against their promotion-hunting opponents and deservedly took the points.

Rovers: Raya, Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Bell, Evans, Travis, Reed, Dack (Conway, 65), Armstrong (Brereton, 81), Graham (Palmer, 90).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Downing, Grayson.

Goals: Mulgrew, 53, Dack, 58

Booked: Bennett, 52, Brereton, 89, Reed, 90

West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Gibbs, Robson-Kanu, Bartley, Morrison (Brunt, 60), Phillips, Barnes, Barry (c), Rodriguez (Hoolahan, 78), Adarabioyo (Livermore, 60), Dawson.

Unused substitutes: Myhill, Sako, Mears, Harper.

Goal: Rodriguez pen, 64

Booked: Adarabioyo, 41, Dawson, 77, Barry, 90

Sent off: Livermore, 88

Attendance: 14,288 (1,744 away)

Referee: Oliver Langford.

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