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Bristol City 3 Rovers 5

15 September 2012

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Rovers hit the top of the table after five fantastic goals at Ashton Gate.

Rovers' unbeaten start to the season continued with a pulsating victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

It was a real eight-goal thriller as Rovers' record signing Jordan Rhodes opened his account with a fine brace in a match of high drama.

Albert Adamah stunned the visitors with a goal for City after just 50 seconds, but Rovers regrouped quickly, Jordan Rhodes finishing well from a Nuno Gomes through ball.

The rolls were reversed after the break as Rhodes turned provider for the Portuguese veteran who lashed home to put Rovers in front for the first time.

But to their credit Bristol City showed why they had won both their previous two home games as Stephen Pearson quickly levelled after Adomah had tricked his way into the box.

Substitute Ruben Rochina thought he had done enough to give Rovers all three points when he put Rovers back in front with eight minutes remaining but Sam Baldock had other ideas, equalising almost immediately with a shot from the edge of the area.

Five additional minutes were shown at the end of the game and they proved to be crucial as Scott Dann connected cleanly in the area to make it 4-3, then in the final seconds Jordan Rhodes had the opportunity to take the ball into the corner to run the clock down but showed true goalscoring instincts to curl a wonderful effort beyond Heaton into the top corner of the net.

The win is Rovers' first on the road and the three points sees them top the table at this early stage of the season.

Ahead of the game Rovers made just the one change from the side held at Leeds United a fortnight ago as Bradley Orr returned to face his former club.

The player making way was Mauro Formica who dropped to the substitutes bench.

But Rovers' first visit to Ashton Gate in 21 years couldn't have started any worse as the home side took the lead inside the first minute.

A throw-in from the right by Richard Foster was held up by former Rover Jon Stead and he played in Albert Adomah who found the corner of the net with a shot that took a deflection along the way.

Rovers looked to hit back quickly with Jordan Rhodes latching onto a pass from Nuno Gomes, but the striker saw his effort saved.

Steve Kean's side were then dealt an injury blow as Markus Olsson limped off with a hamstring strain but they had a ready-made replacement in his brother Martin to come on for his first appearance of the season.

The Swedish international wasted little time in getting involved, popping up on the right side of the area to force Heaton into another save.

Nuno Gomes was then denied by Heaton in the 27th minute, although sixty seconds later the Portuguese veteran would have a hand in Rovers' equaliser. Nuno Gomes playing a ball forward that was missed by City captain Liam Fontaine and that allowed Jordan Rhodes to run clean through, the record signing showed a cool head to skip past the advancing Tom Heaton to steer the ball into the empty net for his first goal for the club.

Despite Gael Givet also limping off through injury, Rovers continued to look the side to get a second before the end of the first half but at the break it was 1-1.

Bristol City had the first chance of a goal two minutes after the restart when a ball in from the right found its way to Jon Stead at the back post, but stretching to shoot the City striker's effort lacked purchase and Bradley Orr was able to clear.

Rhodes then tested Tom Heaton with a swerving effort that had to be beaten away but the former Manchester United trainee had no chance when Rovers did take the lead on 55 minutes.

It started with a forward ball from Dickson Etuhu which Jordan Rhodes did well to shield with his back to goal and he teed up Nuno Gomes to steer the ball beyond Heaton for his third goal in three games.

Rovers were in the ascendency, playing the ball around with confidence, but you always felt that they needed more than a one-goal lead and that proved to be the case when the home side levelled on 70 minutes.

It was first minute goalscorer Albert Adomah who did the damage, tormenting Martin Olsson and Dickson Etuhu on the right before skipping between the two  and finding Stephen Pearson who swept the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards out.

That prompted the Rovers boss to introduce Ruben Rochina and he didn't disappoint, scoring just four minutes after his introduction.

The goal was typical Ruben, as the Spaniard ran from inside his own half with the ball straight to the penalty area, he had options left and right, but just when it looked the chance had gone he shifted position and curled the ball into the top right corner of the goal.

But Bristol just wouldn't lie down and to their credit they were back on level terms within sixty seconds, Sam Baldock, surprisingly dropped for the Rovers match, coming off the bench to make it 3-3 with a fine strike from the edge of the area.

A frantic ending to the match saw a Grant Hanley header saved before Rovers had claims for a penalty waved away after Fontaine appeared to handle in the box.

Thankfully for Rovers the chances kept on coming and they got their just rewards in the five minutes of added time.

On 93 minutes a Rovers corner was cleared as far as Morten Gamst Pedersen and as he sent the ball back into the area the unlikely figure of Scott Dann lashed home.

Jordan Rhodes then missed an empty net from the halfway line after Heaton had come up for a Bristol corner, but he would make amends five minutes into added time. Cool under pressure Dickson Etuhu found the striker in space but there was no thought of time wasting on the young forward's mind as he bent a sublime effort into the far corner of the goal.

It was an unbelievable end to a pulsating match.

BRISTOL CITY: Heaton, Foster, Fontaine (c), Carey, Stead (sub Baldock 64 mins), Woolford (sub Anderson 83 mins), Skuse, Pearson, Cunningham, Taylor (sub Davies 72 mins), Adomah.

Subs not used: Gerken (GK), Kilkenny, Wilson, Elliott.

Goals: Adomah 1 min, Pearson 70 mins, Baldock 83 mins.

Booked: None.

ROVERS: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet (sub Hanley 37 mins), Markus Olsson (sub Martin Olsson 21), Ribeiro, Etuhu, Murphy, Pedersen, Nuno Gomes (sub Rochina 78 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Kean, Dunn, Formica, Paulo Jorge.

Goals: Rhodes 28 mins, 90+5 mins, Nuno Gomes 55 mins, Rochina 82 mins, Dann 90+3 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 14,657

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