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Match Reports

Match Report : 30/11/2013

30 November 2013

Rovers 1 Leeds United 0

A first half injury-time goal from Tommy Spurr saw Rovers earn all three points in a pulsating encounter with Leeds United.

The full back's first goal on home soil was enough to win a great contest in front of 20,267 supporters at Ewood Park.

Rovers dominated the first half, David Dunn, Todd Kane and Jordan Rhodes going close, but Paddy Kenny's save from Chris Taylor was the pick from the visiting 'keeper.

Jake Kean was also called upon to make an important save, denying Danny Pugh from close-range after a quick-fire move.

Two minutes into first half added time Rovers grabbed the goal they deserved. A late corner from David Dunn swept home by Spurr to obvious delight.

The second half was equally intense, two good sides giving their all. A stupendous volley from Josh King was kept out by a sensational Kenny save.

Leeds upped the pressure as the half drew to a close but Rovers were imperious at the back with Kean rarely troubled.

Paddy Kenny added to the late drama by coming up for a succession of Leeds corners but Rovers held on for a deserved three points.

Rovers made one change from the side the drew with Reading at Ewood Park last time out.

Illness ruled out Lee Williamson so that meant a return to the starting eleven for Chris Taylor.

DJ Campbell returned to the substitute's bench after serving his three-match ban, but there was no place for new signing Rudy Gestede, the loan man unavailable due to a minor niggle.

Visitors Leeds United also made one change as Luke Varney came in for the injured Dexter Blackstock. Former Rover Stephen Warnock was named amongst the subs.

It was a lively first half on and off the pitch as both sets of fans and players played their part in a pulsating first half.

David Dunn was first to try his luck after five minutes, shooting on the volley, the ball arrowing towards the bottom corner until Paddy Kenny dived to tip the ball around the post.

The visitors then enjoyed a spell of pressure seeing plenty of the ball in and around the box, but Ross McCormack's 13th minute effort didn't trouble Jake Kean.

Rovers responded well, Todd Kane denied by Kenny after a sweeping forward move started by the defender, before a snapshot from Jordan Rhodes flashed wide.

A formation switch by Bowyer saw Rovers gain the upper hand as Chris Taylor was moved inside and immediately it almost paid dividends, the former Millwall man charged through to find Rhodes but his shot was blocked.

Kane and Dunn were saw shots go wide but at the other end Rovers were grateful for a fantastic 33rd minute save from Jake Kean.

A swift move from United saw a ball up to Luke Varney, he flicked the ball onto McCormack who found Danny Pugh racing into the box, the defender shot low but Kane saved with his feet. It was a big save and a key moment in the game.

From that point on it was all Rovers until the break, the ever-impressive Taylor forcing a superb save from Paddy Kenny. Taylor controlling a pass before turning and shooting on the half-volley, the Leeds stopper showed good reactions, even more so to clear the ball behind with his legs with Rhodes ready to pounce.

On the stroke of half-time Rovers grabbed the opening goal their play deserved. David Dunn delivered from the right with the ball somehow finding it's way through to Tommy Spurr who swept the ball home for his second goal of the season, his first at Ewood Park.

It had been a similar first half to the one seen against Reading seven days earlier, the only difference on this occasion was Rovers got the reward of a goal.

The 20,000 attendance meant a fantastic Ewood atmosphere and the volume didn't drop as the second half got underway.

David Dunn rolled back the years with a scintillating 54 minute run through the heart of the Leeds United defence but he just couldn't keep the ball in his stride as he entered the area.

Moments later the stalwart tried his luck with a free-kick from the left but Kenny was alert to claim high at the back.

Brian McDermott made a double change for Leeds just before the hour mark as Sam Byram and Matt Smith replaced Lee Peltier and Luke Varney.

However, it was Rovers who were forcing the pace and none more-so than Josh King, the Norwegian hitting a sensational shot on the volley with Kenny equally impressive with the save. King then turned provider but Grant Hanley headed over at the back post.

Slowly but surely Leeds started to come back into the game, the added height of striker Matt Smith causing consternation in the Rovers area.

A good turn from one-time Rovers' target Luke Murphy saw the ball fed to Rodolph Austin in the area but under pressure from Jason Lowe the midfielder fired into the side netting.

The final ten minutes saw both sides press. The introduction of Ben Marshall and DJ Campbell adding fresh legs to the Rovers' front line, whilst lively Leeds attacker Ross McCormack saw a snapshot go the wrong side of the post.

A couple of late Leeds corners saw Tykes goalkeeper Paddy Kenny come up to cause consternation at the death, but Rovers stood strong to claim a hard-fought victory.

Rovers have no time to rest on their laurels, a trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town follows quickly next Tuesday.

ROVERS: Kean, Kane, Dann (c), Hanley, Spurr, Taylor, Lowe, Cairney, King, Dunn (sub Marshall 62 mins), Rhodes (sub Campbell 84 mins).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kilgallon, Marrow, Rochina, Henley.

Goals: Spurr 45+2 mins.

Booked: None.

LEEDS: Kenny, Peltier (sub Byram 57 mins), Lees, Pearce, Murphy (sub Poleon 81 mins), Austin (c), Varney (sub Smith 58 mins), Pugh, Zaliukas, Mowatt, McCormack.

Subs not used: Cairnes (GK), Warnock, Brown, Tonge.

Goals: None.

Booked: Varney, Mowatt, Zaliukas.

Attendance: 20,267 (6813 visiting supporters).

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