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30 September 2016 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

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Match Reports

PL Cup report: Rovers 2 Burnley 0

Rovers easily win their opening group match but they should have had more goals to show for their dominance.

30 September 2016

Rovers kicked off their Premier League Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley at Ewood Park.

First half goals from Joe Rankin-Costello and Lewis Mansell put the home side in front, a lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Rovers continued their dominance in the second half but were unable to convert a host of chances as Clarets keeper Nick Pope made several saves to keep the Blues from adding to the scoreline.

There were no surprises in the starting XI as development squad boss Damien Johnson named a strong Under-23 side. Connor Thompson missed out through injury, his place taken by Joe Grayson.

In the Ewood Park sunshine Rovers took the game to their near-neighbours from the off, quick feet from Mansell saw the striker make room for a shot in the penalty area but former Charlton keeper Nick Pope made the save.

Ollie Younger glanced a header wide for the visitors but it would prove to be their only meaningful sight of goal in what turned into a one-sided first half sparked by a stunning opener on 19 minutes.

There seemed little danger as Rankin-Costello collected the ball on the left, but as the attacking midfielder cut inside onto his right foot he hit the sweetest of shots that flew into the top corner from 25-yards.

Boosted by the goal Rovers went in search of a second and it duly arrived ten minutes later, albeit in slightly fortunate circumstances.

Collecting a pass from Lewis Hardcastle, Grayson clipped a ball into the area, with a deflection putting it on a plate for Mansell to fire home from close-range.

Johnson's side could have ended the half with a third, but Matty Platt headed straight into Pope's arms from a Connor Mahoney corner.

Whilst Rovers made the most of the chances that came their way in the first half, they were unable to add to their tally in the second despite creating numerous goalscoring opportunities.

Just two minutes after the restart a near-post cross from Mahoney found it's way to Rankin-Costello but despite doing well to reach the ball on the volley, he couldn't keep his shot down.

Scott Wharton then headed a corner wide before a flowing move involving Hardcastle and Mansell lead to Willem Tomlinson letting fly from outside the area but his thunderous strike flashed inches past the post.

Nick Pope in the Burnley goal was certainly kept busy as Rovers continued to play their way through the Clarets back line.

But despite a host of excellent chances, they were unable to add to the scoreline as Mansell in particular was kept out time and time again.

At the other end Andy Fisher had little to do, but he did claim a shot from Tinashe Chakwana, before Arlen Birch glanced a header wide.

But those were brief moments for the visitors as Rovers continued to impress in the closing stages, the only thing lacking being they couldn't turn their dominance into further goals that their play deserved.

Johnson's side are back in action this Tuesday night when they face Carlisle United in the Checkatrade Trophy at Brunton Park.

ROVERS: Fisher, Nyambe, Doyle, Grayson, Platt, Wharton (c), Mahoney (sub Howarth 82 mins), Tomlinson, Mansell, Hardcastle, Rankin-Costello (sub Pemberton 78 mins).

Subs not used: Magloire, Ascroft, Travis.

Goals: Rankin-Costello 19 mins, Mansell 29 mins.

Booked: None.

BURNLEY: Pope, Birch, Wilson, Yao (sub Bayode 62 mins), Younger, Dunne (sub Pingling 78 mins), Jackson (c), Howarth (sub Olomowewe 90+3 mins), Chakwana, McNeil, Koike.

Subs not used: Mitchell, Wood.

Goals: None.

Booked: Bayode 72 mins.

Attendance: 376.

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