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Match Reports

Match Report : 14/12/2013

14 December 2013

Rovers 3 Millwall 2

Rovers made it back-to-back home wins with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Millwall on Saturday.

In terrible conditions, Rovers won by the odd goal in five in a game that wasn't for the purists.

In swirling wind and rain the conditions played their part in the first as errors lead to both goals. Jordan Rhodes taking advantage of a Mark Beevers slip to lash home from outside the box to open the scoring.

However a similar slip from Grant Hanley lead to the visitors equalising as Steve Morison's cross was bundled home by Martyn Waghorn just before the break.

Rovers regained the lead almost immediately after the restart, Ben Marshall grabbing his first goal for the club, heading home Tommy Spurr's centre.

Then when David Dunn headed a third it seemed Rovers would go on and claim a comfortable victory but Millwall had other ideas, Steve Morison nodding home to make it 3-2 a minute from time.

There was a further five nervy minutes of added time but when Simon Eastwood denied Morison with a fingertip save Rovers would go on to claim a very welcome three points.

Gary Bowyer made just the one change from the side that drew with Queens Park Rangers seven days earlier.

It was an enforced one as Lee Williamson picked up a foot injury in midweek training, Josh King replacing the midfielder.

It was a match that was slow to get going at a chilly Ewood Park. A swirling wind not helping proceedings.

The early chances were with Rovers as Chris Taylor headed wide, whilst a Tom Cairney free-kick was punched away by David Forde in the Millwall goal

But whilst the home side enjoyed more of the ball, the Lions caused concern from corner kicks, which Rovers dealt with well, however it was still somewhat of a surprise when the opening goal was scored just before the midway point of the half.

A long ball out of defence by Grant Hanley saw Jordan Rhodes give chase, and as Mark Beevers lost his footing the Rovers striker took full advantage to lash an unstoppable shot into the corner of the goal beyond the despairing dive of Forde.

It was a goal totally out of keeping from the half on show, but Rhodes didn't care as he celebrated his 12th goal of the season.

Rovers threatened to get a second almost immediately as a Tom Cairney corner was sent into the box but former Millwall man Taylor couldn't hook the ball on target.

However the final 15 minutes of the half saw the visitors end strongly. They had shown their intention when Paul Robinson just glanced a Martyn Waghorn corner wide, then a Martyn Woolford centre was just about kept out by a combination of Scott Dann and Simon Eastwood.

Three minutes from the break the Lions were level, and like the opening goal it came from a defensive slip as Grant Hanley lost his footing in his area and that allowed Steve Morison to cross to where Waghorn somehow squeezed the ball into the back of the net.

There was still time before the break for Millwall to threaten once more. Waghorn again in on goal but an important challenge from Hanley prevented the forward from getting his second in as many minutes.

Thankfully for all those of a blue and white persuasion, Rovers quickly put their sloppy end to the first half behind them with a goal just after the restart.

It was a first goal in Rovers colours as Ben Marshall ghosted into the box to meet a Tommy Spurr centre to put the home side back in front on 48 minutes.

Rovers had rotated the 'second striker' position throughout, with Marshall at the right place and the right time to head home well.

The conditions were proving troublesome, a cross from Taylor moments later almost caught out goalkeeper David Forde, the Irishman having to back-pedal to tip over the bar.

Like the first half, Millwall came again, Martyn Woolford seeing a shot pushed onto the roof of the net, whilst Scott Malone was high and wide after good pressure from Steve Lomas's side.

Then substitute Jermaine Easter saw a shot well blocked by Scott Dann, the ball looping up into the gleeful arms of Simon Eastwood.

David Dunn was also introduced for appearance 351 and he almost set up another strike for Jordan Rhodes. Breaking from a Millwall attack, Dunn threaded the ball through to Rhodes in on goal, but Forde did well to first force the striker wide and then to save his effort.

Five minutes from time Rovers did grab a third. It wasn't pretty but they all count, Tom Cairney with a corner from the left, Grant Hanley nodded back towards goal, Jordan Rhodes headed also to where David Dunn headed home from close-range via the post.

It seemed it was job done for Rovers but to their credit Millwall had other ideas.

Symptomatic of the challenge of the Championship, the Lions kept going and pulled a goal back on 89 minutes.

Like Rovers' goal some moments earlier, it would come from a corner, Steve Morison bundling the ball home at the back post.

An lengthy injury to Alan Dunne meant a nervy five minutes of added time, and the visitors almost grabbed a battling point as the ball broke to Morison in the area. It appeared to be in slow-motion as Morison poked the ball goalwards but Simon Eastwood thrust out a long arm to claim the ball.

Thankfully there was no further drama as Rovers saw out time to claim back-to-back home victories.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley, Dann (c), Hanley, Spurr, King (sub Dunn 75 mins), Lowe, Cairney, Marshall, Taylor, Rhodes (sub Gestede 88 mins).

Subs not used: Kean (GK), Kane, Kilgallon, Marrow, Rochina.

Goals: Rhodes 22 mins, Marshall 48 mins, Dunn 85 mins

Booked: Taylor.

MILLWALL: Forde, Dunne (sub Hoyte 85 mins), Robinson (c), Trotter, Feeney (sub Easter 71 mins), Morison, Woolford, Beevers, Abdou (sub Keogh 77 mins), Malone, Waghorn.

Subs not used: Bywater (GK), Shittu, Moussi, McDonald.

Goals: Waghorn 42 mins, Morison 89 mins.

Booked: Abdou, Feeney

Attendance: 12,643 (249 Millwall fans).

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