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Match Reports

Match Report : 26/12/2013

26 December 2013

Rovers 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday had to settle for a share of the spoils in a goalless draw at Ewood Park.

The first half saw Simon Eastwood make the two best saves, twice denying headers from Atdhe Nuhul, whilst Jordan Rhodes missed Rovers' best chances, Chris Kirkland saving on two occasions, a third opportunity blazed over.

The second half started brightly with Ben Marshall going close, whilst Rudy Gestede, making his first start, saw an effort saved by the legs of the Owls 'keeper.

But those were rare opportunities in a half short on chances, and when a Josh King centre was missed by Rhodes and fired over by Tom Cairney you knew the game would end goalless.

A third clean sheet in four from Simon Eastwood saw Rovers claim a point, one that earned them a place in the top ten.

Rovers made just the one change to the side that defeated Yeovil Town 1-0 last weekend. A first start for Rudy Gestede in a Rovers shirt as he replaces David Dunn who is just feeling his hamstring.

Former Wednesday players Tommy Spurr and Ben Marshall both started against their old club.

At a chilly Ewood Park it was the visitors who started the brighter with Rovers goalkeeper Simon Eastwood called upon to make an important save just three minutes in.

A free-kick from midfielder Stephen McPhail was sent into the box where striker Atdhe Nuhul rose unmarked to head goalwards but the Rovers stopper dived to his right to make am important save.

Moments later and Rovers were having to defend once more, this time from a right wing cross by Jacques Maghoma, thankfully Adam Henley was across to defend.

Those two chance stung Rovers into action, a quick free-kick from Tom Cairney saw Jordan Rhodes released but his shot was deflected into the side-netting.

There was a good tempo to Rovers' play, eager to get the ball moving quickly, a Scott Dann free-kick was flicked on by Rudy Gestede for Jordan Rhodes but the striker fired high into the stand.

Cairney then intercepted in midfielder to find Ben Marshall but Chris Kirkland saved well, the former Liverpool 'keeper then denied Rhodes once more after the striker pounced on a Roger Johnson error.

However it was the Owls who ended with another great chance, again a McPhail free-kick into the area, again Nuhul got up well, and again Eastwood made the save.

The first half ended on a sour note as Chris Taylor had to be stretchered off after a collision with Glenn Loovens, replaced by Josh King.

Unlike the first it was Rovers on the front foot after the restart, Ben Marshall, whose jinking run had been brought to an end, sending a dipping free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Rudy Gestede then went close to marking his first start with a goal on 53 minutes, performing well to keep the ball in play on the touchline before charging goalwards, but his effort at goal was kept at bay by the legs of Kirkland.

With the visitors content to keep what they had, forays forward were few and far between, a Stephen McPhail free-kick the closest they came to scoring in the second half as the former Leeds man's free-kick deflected just around the post.

Rovers continued to press, trying to exert pressure on their opponents, a Josh King run to the byline impressed but as he cut the ball back Rhodes couldn't connect whilst Tom Cairney fired over at the back post, a gilt-edge chance spurned.

Half chances continued, as King saw an effort saved before Jason Lowe acrobatically fired over, but despite four additional minutes played no further opportunities were mustered.

The point sees Rovers move into the top ten, they have a great chance to get more festive points when Birmingham City are the visitors to Ewood Park this Sunday.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley, Dann (c), Hanley, Spurr, Marshall, Lowe, Cairney (sub Rochina 81 mins), Taylor (sub King 45+5 mins), Gestede (sub Williamson 61 mins), Rhodes.

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

Goals: None.

Booked: Henley, Spurr.

SHEFF WED: Kirkland, Re. Johnson (c), Semeo, Ro. Johnson, Maghoma (sub J. Johnson 75 mins), Helan, Lee, Palmer, McPhail (sub McCabe 78 mins), Nuhul (sub Mattock 84 mins), Loovens.

Subs not used: Martinez (GK), Maguire, Llera, Olofinjana.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 18,539 (including 3270 visiting supporters).

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