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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

08 July 2018 Venue Easter Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

0 - 2
Blackburn Rovers

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Match Reports

Report: Hibernian 0 Rovers 2

Second half goals from Craig Conway and Willem Tomlinson earn an opening pre-season victory

8 July 2018

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Two goals in four second half minutes did the damage as Rovers earned an opening pre-season win over SPFL side Hibernian at Easter

Craig Conway opened the scoring just three minutes into the second half following a first half of few chances for both teams.

And one quickly became two for Tony Mowbray's side as Willem Tomlinson found the net soon after to seal a comfortable victory in Edinburgh.

Mowbray handed non-competitive debuts to new captures Joe Rothwell and Jacob Davenport, with the midfield men being handed berths for the first half in Edinburgh.

Youngsters Scott Wharton, Lewis Travis, Dan Butterworth, Tomlinson and Matty Platt were all be given game time against the Scottish outfit, with the former trio playing in the first half and the latter pair in the second.

Fresh from signing new contracts in the summer, experienced duo Conway and Danny Graham played in the second half, in a team which contained a number of the mainstays from our League One promotion campaign, with Charlie Mulgrew, Richie Smallwood and Bradley Dack also appearing from half time onwards.

Quartet David Raya, Paul Downing, Ben Gladwin and Dominic Samuel weren't risked, with the four of them carrying slight knocks.

Hosts Hibs included Liverpool loanee goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in their XI, whilst Paul Hanlon - whose testimonial it was - also started at the heart of the defence.

The home side started brightly and Jayson Leutwiler got down well to hold onto a David Gray volley after John McGinn's floated corner found the right back around 8 yards out inside the opening two minutes.

Rovers were starting to find their stride playing the diamond formation with two up front and Nuttall had our first shot in anger but saw his free kick sail over the bar and into the stand 17 minutes into the contest.

The impressive John McGinn tested Leutwiler soon after, with the Canadian international forced to tip over the midfielder's long range attempt at goal.

On the half hour mark, new man Davenport had two bites of the cherry as firstly his free kick cannoned back to him off the Hibernian wall before his second strike on the follow up was easy for Bogdan to gather.

With five minutes to go, McGinn slipped a terrific ball through to striker Oli Shaw, but when going one-on-one with Leutwiler, the big stopper came out on top, pushing the strike away from danger.

And a few minutes later it was Rovers who nearly forced the opener, but after Davenport robbed an opponent and slipped in Nuttall, left back Lewis Stevenson was back just in the nick of time to nip in and take the ball when the trigger was set to be pulled.

Following a raft of changes which saw a completely new team come out for the second half, Matty Platt went close to breaking the deadlock just a minute into the half but saw his downward header saved by Hibs substitute goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.

And a moment later the visitors did take the lead as Conway - back in his homeland - expertly rifled home from the edge of the box and placing it to the left of Laidlaw and into the top corner.

The new look Rovers were looking sharp and another Scot - this time Mulgrew - cracked the crossbar from 25 yards from one of his trademark free kicks as Mowbray's men looked to increase the advantage.

An it was 2-0 seven minutes into the half as Dack played in Tomlinson, who made an excellent run from midfield, and although Laidlaw saved his first attempt, the follow up found the back of the net.

The game was becoming stretched and up the other end, home substitute Martin Boyle forced Andy Fisher into a smart stop at his near post after a decent run down the right side.

Next up to try his luck was striker Shaw, who broke the offside trap and tried to dink Fisher, who clawed the ball clear of danger and the score remained.

Florian Kamberi tamely hit wide just after the hour mark as Neil Lennon's outfit tried to find a way back into the game, but Rovers were looking professional and disciplined in the Edinburgh sunshine.

Conway was doing well on the left side for Rovers and tested Laidlaw again with 10 minutes remaining, but this time didn't get enough power after cutting in on his favoured right foot.

But the score stayed the same as Rovers finished the final part of the game relatively untroubled and Mowbray will see this as a good display from his team.

A reminder that Rovers are next in pre-season action on Saturday 14th July, kick-off 3pm at Vale Park.

Rovers (first half): Leutwiler, Bennett, Lenihan, Wharton, Bell, Davenport, Travis, Evans, Rothwell, Butterworth, Nuttall.

Rovers: (second half)Fisher, Platt, Mulgrew, Williams, Nyambe, Smallwood, Conway, Tomlinson, Whittingham, Dack, Graham.

Goals: Conway, 48, Tomlinson, 52

Hibernian: Bogdan (Laidlaw, 46), Gray (Whittaker, 70), Stevenson (Mackie, 75), Hanlon, McGregor, Bartley (Allan, 75), McGinn (Slivka, 62), Ambrose (Boyle, 46), Kamberi, Shaw (Murray, 70), Swanson (Mallan, 62).

Unused substitutes: N/A

Referee: Gavin Duncan

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