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Match Reports

Match Report : 27/04/2013

27 April 2013

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Rovers 1-1 Crystal Palace

Rovers are all but assured of a place in next season's championship after a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

Only an extraordinary set of results on the final day of the season would see Rovers relegated, the point against play-off chasing Palace all but enough to keep them safe.

After a strong opening it was the visitors who grabbed the first goal, Stephen Dobbie cooly slotting home after good work following Aaron Wilbraham's flick.

Rovers responded and drew level three minutes before the break with Player of the Year Jordan Rhodes bagging his 26th league goal for the club, showing good awareness to clip the ball over the advancing Julian Speroni and into the back of the net.

The second half was an entertaining end-to-end encounter with both sides having chances and penalty shouts, a draw was the fair result in the end.

Rovers travel to Birmingham City on the final day as they bring the curtain down on an eventful season.

For Rovers' final home game of the season Gary Bowyer made three changes from the side that started in the 2-1 win over Millwall in midweek.

With Colin Kazim-Richards, David Dunn and Markus Olsson all picking up knocks in the match at the Den it meant a first league start of the season for David Goodwillie, whilst Nuno Gomes and Joshua King were back in the starting eleven.

It was play-off hunting Palace that started the stronger of the two sides at Ewood Park, the visitors having early joy, particularly down the right with the threat of £15m man Wilfred Zaha.

At the other end David Goodwillie threatend after exchanging long passes with Joshua King but Damien Delaney got across in the nick of time to clear.

Palace were winning plenty of corners but Rovers dealt with them well, however they didn't deal with a long ball up to Aaron Wilbraham on 28 minutes and as the striker flicked the ball forward to Stephen Dobbie who showed good skill to skip inside Grant Hanley before firing low past the helpless Grzegorz Sandomierski.

Stephen Dobbie went close to grabbing a second for Ian Holloway's side as his free-kick flashed narrowly wide, before Damien Delaney fired over the bar.

But Rovers stuck to their task and they were rewarded with an equaliser on 42 minutes and inevitably it came from the boot of Player of the Year Jordan Rhodes.

Josh Morris started the move down the left before finding Joshua King, he clipped the ball over the back of the Palace defence, Jordan Rhodes gave chase and as Julian Speroni came out, the striker lofted a lovely ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Rovers started the second half on the front foot and had strong claims for a penalty waved away five minutes after the restart.

The lively Josh Morris advanced into the Palace area, he shifted the ball past one marker before going down under the challenge of Kagisho Dikgacoi, but referee Philip Gibbs was unmoved.

Moments later Morris stormed forward once more, his shot almost found Rhodes before David Goodwillie shot from a tight angle but Speroni claimed.

Almost immedately play was switched down the other end as Glenn Murray got on the end of a long ball, his touch took him inside Grant Hanley but with just Sandomierski to beat he fired onto the top of the crossbar and over.

Back came Rovers pressing and probing, Morris and Goodwillie impressing with their attacking play on either flank. But it was at the other end where the bar was struck once more, Palace captain Mile Jedinak seeing his header clip the woodwork after arriving unmarked to meet a corner.

The chances continued to come and go, Pedersen, on as a half-time substitute for Nuno Gomes, fired wide after Jones' effort was blocked.

Then Murray fired wide at the other end after forcing his way through.

With the clock ticking down it was the visitors who could have snatched all three points but defender Delaney headed wide when well placed with five minutes remaining.

Rovers end the season away at Birmingham City knowing that their place in next season's npower Championship.

ROVERS: Sandomierski, Kane, Dann (c), Hanley, Morris, Goodwillie, Williamson, Jones, King (sub Stewart 90 mins), Nuno Gomes (sub Pedersen 46 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Usai, Murphy, Rekik, Bentley, O'Sullivan.

Goals: Rhodes 42 mins.

Booked: None.

PALACE: Speroni, Ward, Dikgacoi, Dobbie (sub Garvan 65 mins), Jedinak (c), Zaha, Murray, Wilbraham (sub Williams 56 mins), Moxey, Delaney, Gabbidon.

Subs not used: Price (GK), Bolasie, Phillips, Ramage, Moritz.

Goals: Dobbie 28 mins.

Booked: Ward.

Attendance: 19,796

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