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Match Reports

Match Report : 12/04/2014

12 April 2014

Sheffield Wednesday 3 Rovers 3

Rovers were left to rue missed chances as Sheffield Wednesday came back from two goals down to steal a point at Hillsborough.

Gary Bowyer's side were in control for the majority of the match but were punished for their profligacy in front of goal.

Jordan Rhodes set Rovers on their way with a 15th minute opener, but Lewis Buxton soon levelled.

However Rovers grabbed two further goals before the break as Craig Conway and Michael Keane looked to have put the game beyond Wednesday.

Rovers started the second half as strongly as they ended the first but Jordan Rhodes twice missed gilt-edged chances to put the game beyond the home side.

It would prove costly as Wednesday striker Atdhe Nuhiu struck twice, his second coming in the 95th minute to break Rovers hearts.

Gary Bowyer named an unchanged eleven from the side that defeated Queens Park Rangers in midweek.

The only changes were on the substitute's bench where David Dunn (calf) and Dickson Etuhu (hamstring) missed out, Markus Olsson and Todd Kane taking their place.

On a hard bobbly pitch there was little play on the ground in the opening quarter. Both sides had efforts from distance, Jason Lowe for Rovers, Chris Maguire for the hosts, but there was little quality on show.

However right on 15 minutes it was Rovers who opened the scoring. A free-kick from the right dropped to Tommy Spurr and although the defender sliced his effort, the ball ran through to Jordan Rhodes who side-stepped Chris Kirkland to walk the ball into the back of the net.

It was Jordan Rhodes' 24th goal of the season and unquestionably his easiest.

Paul Robinson was then called upon to keep Wednesday at bay. As Michael Keane and Grant Hanley got in each other's way, Michail Antonio stole in to feed Atdhe Nuhiu, but the Rovers number one made an outstanding point-blank save.

Rovers went up the other end and should have doubled their lead. Chris Kirkland couldn't hold a cross under pressure from Rudy Gestede, the ball dropped to Rhodes on the penalty spot but Miguel Llera blocked his shot.

On 29 minutes Rovers were thankful for Robinson once more as he made a sensational save to deny Antonio, however their joy was short-lived as from the resulting Chris Maguire corner, the ball was glanced onto Lewis Buxton who headed home at the back post.

Thankfully parity lasted just six minutes as Rovers roared back in front. A Paul Robinson goal-kick was cleared as far as Gestede, he and Rhodes combined to find Craig Conway and the January arrival cut inside to hit a low 25-yard drive into the bottom corner.

It was the Scotsman's fourth goal in a Rovers shirt, all of them coming away from home.

Jason Lowe made a double block to deny Wednesday a route back, before Rudy Gestede felt he had been fouled in the area as he attempted to reach a loose ball. The referee ignored the striker's claims.

Two minutes before the break Rovers grabbed some much-needed breathing space by adding a third.

A Craig Conway free-kick was cleared as far as Tom Cairney, he found Lowe on the overlap on the right before sending over a sumptuous centre that Michael Keane couldn't miss. The on-loan defender heading home unmarked to send the visitors in at the break comfortably in front.

Rovers remained on the front foot at the start of the second half, creating a host of excellent chances.

On 47 minutes it needed an important challenge from Liam Palmer to prevent Craig Conway from getting his second of the game, the midfielder set to pull the trigger 10-yards out but the Wednesday man got back in the nick of time.

Craig Conway saw a deflected free-kick kept out by a readjusting Chris Kirkland before Rovers had the ball in the net a fourth time. However as Tom Cairney's clever turn and pass fed Rhodes the striker was offside as the cooly slotted home.

Then from a Paul Robinson free-kick Rudy Gestede headed goalwards but his effort was a yard over the bar.

That prompted a double change from the home side as Jeremy Helan and Caolan Lavery replaced Palmer and Joe Mattock, but the chances kept coming Rovers' way.

A ball over the top saw Rhodes with just Kirkland to beat but the former England man stood strong, saving well. In the ensuing melee Gestede and Lowe both saw efforts blocked.

Then Tom Cairney saw an attempted shot deflect up nicely for Rhodes, but his overhead kick was kept out by Kirkland.

The Owls hadn't threatened in the opening 20 minutes of the second half but they almost reduced the deficit on 66 minutes when an Antonio cross bounced off the woodwork, it fell for substitute Lavery but he couldn't get purchase on his hooked shot and Robinson claimed comfortably.

But five minutes later the home side did manage to get on the scoresheet. The lively Antonio broke down the left, beating Michael Keane for pace and whilst his cut-back is well blocked by Robinson, the ball ran to Austrian striker Atdhe Nuhiu and he poked the ball home.

Matt Kilgallon went close with a crisp left-foot volley that flashed inches wide of the upright, before Rudy Gestede couldn't repeat his midweek thunderbolt as his long-range strike flies over the bar.

With four minutes of the ninety remaining Rovers should have put the game beyond Wednesday as Craig Conway blocked a clearance, the ball ran through to Jordan Rhodes but with options to his right, Rhodes opted to shoot but the ball struck the side-netting.

Five additional minutes were shown but just as it looked like Rovers had run the clock down to claim all three points, Wednesday struck in the final minute.

Matt Kilgallon made a sensational block but the rebound fell kindly to Atdhe Nuhiu and he blasted beyond Robinson from close range to make it 3-3.

There was still time for more chances, Rudy Gestede headed straight at Kirkland before he set the home side on the break, Robinson denied Nuhiu, the ball ran to Lavery but he thankfully blazed over.

It was tough on Rovers as they were on command for so long, but missed chances certainly proved costly as they left Hillsborough with just a point.

SHEFF WED: Kirkland (c), Buxton, Antonio, Onyewu, Maguire, Mattock (sub Helan 59 mins), Lee, Palmer (sub Lavery 59 mins), Llera, Nuhiu, Hutchinson (sub Afobe 79 mins).

Subs not used: Martinez (GK), Johnson, Coke, Taylor.

Goals: Buxton 30 mins, Nuhiu 71, 90+5 mins.

Booked: Llera, Hutchinson, Nuhiu, Afobe.

ROVERS: Robinson; Keane, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Spurr; Cairney, Lowe, Williamson, Conway; Rhodes (sub Varney 90+2 mins), Gestede.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kane, King, Olsson, Taylor, Feeney.

Goals: Rhodes 15 mins, Conway 36 mins, Keane 43 mins.

Booked: Hanley, Williamson, Gestede, Rhodes.

Attendance: 22,792

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