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Match Reports

Match Report : 23/02/2013

23 February 2013

Rovers 0-0 Leeds United

Rovers and Leeds United played out a goalless draw in a hardworking encounter at Ewood Park.

The visitors edged the first half in terms of possession but it was Colin Kazim-Richards who had the best chance, the striker denied by a flying save from Paddy Kenny.

Both sides had opportunities in the second half as play opened up, Jordan Rhodes hit the side-netting after good work from Danny Murphy, whilst Luke Varney could have done better when the ball fell to him in the box.

As the game entered the final stages two further opportunities fell to Rovers' top scorer Rhodes, but he saw one shot saved by Kenny before heading over when in front of goal.

Rovers have little time to recover, a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Tuesday next for the blues.

Michael Appleton was forced into two changes for the match, an eye injury sustained by Martin Olsson in training kept the Swede out, whilst the ankle ligament injury picked up in the match against Hull City meant Lee Williamson missed out.

That allowed two first starts for two loan players as DJ Campbell and David Bentley came into the eleven.

It was the visitors who started the brighter at a chilly Ewood Park. Only two tremendous blocks from Grant Hanley stopped Ross McCormack from registering an early effort on target as Scotsman denied Scotsman.

Then from a McCormack corner from the left the ball ran through the area to Tom Lees who, with an outstretched boot, diverted the ball goalwards but Jake Kean claimed easily.

Rovers were offering little as an attacking force, the midfield men of Leeds giving the home side no time in possession. But a long ball forward from Bradley Orr saw Jordan Rhodes hold off Lees as the ball bounced into the penalty area, but from a tight angle he fired over the bar.

Then neat approach play saw Colin Kazim-Richards cut inside from the left before striking low from the edge of the area, Paddy Kenny needing to show smart reactions to get down to save.

Despite those two Rovers chances it was still Leeds who carried the greater threat, the defence having to work tirelessly to keep the visitors at bay as the first half ended goalless.

Both managers resisted the temptation to make changes at the break as Leeds fashioned the first opportunity of the second half.

As Steve Morison broke forward space opened up to the left for Leeds, Ross McCormack collected the pass but fired wide of Kean's near post.

Rovers were then dealt a blow on 54 minutes as Colin Kazim-Richards limped off. The Turkish forward unable to continue after receiving treatment on a couple of occasions. Morten Gamst Pedersen then man to come on as his replacement.

Just past the hour mark came the best chance for Rovers. Good tenacity from Danny Murphy saw the captain rob Lee Peltier, immediately the ball was fed through to Jordan Rhodes but the striker could only find the side netting with his shot from the edge of the box.

As the match entered the final quarter it became increasingly frantic as play was stretched. A McCormack cross skimmed off the head of Scott Dann and behind, whilst an excellent clearing header from Karim Rekik saw the young full back get the better of Steve Morison, Luke Varney should have done better on the follow-up but his scuffed effort was easily claimed by Kean.

Jordan Rhodes had two late chances to earn Rovers all three points, Kenny saved well from his left-footed effort before following Grant Hanley's header back across goal the top scorer couldn't keep his header on target.

It was a tough uncompromising match in which both sides worked tirelessly, Rovers will regret missing the best chances of the game. 

ROVERS: Kean, Orr, Dann, Hanley, Rekik, Bentley, Lowe, Murphy (c), Kazim-Richards (sub Pedersen 54 mins), Campbell, Rhodes.

Subs not used: Usai (GK), Markus Olsson, Nuno Gomes, Morris, Goodwillie, Henley.

Goals: None.

Booked: Murphy.

LEEDS: Kenny, Peltier (c), Lees, Green, Morison, Varney, Warnock, Tonge, Norris, Byram, McCormack.

Subs not used: Ashdown (GK), Pearce, White, Brown, Diouf, Habibou, Hall.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 18,467

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