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Match Reports

Match Report : 26/04/2014

26 April 2014

Charlton Athletic 1 Rovers 3

Rovers will take their play-off chase to the final week of the season after an impressive 3-1 away win at Charlton Athletic.

Rudy Gestede, Michael Keane and Tom Cairney got the goals as Rovers stretched their unbeaten run at the end of the campaign to 11.

After a slow start to the match at The Valley it was Monday's hat-trick hero who put Rovers in front, Rudy Gestede heading home a Josh King centre to lead at the break.

But that was due in no small part to Paul Robinson who pulled off a superb penalty save to deny Marvin Sordell.

Michael Keane nodded Rovers' second soon into the second half, but Sordell hit back with a curling effort to make amends for his spot-kick miss.

A third soon arrived through Tom Cairney, and but for Ben Hamer Rovers could have had more, saving well from Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede, whilst the big striker struck the crossbar with another bullet of a header.

It will take an unlikely set of results next Saturday, but until it is mathematically impossible, Gary Bowyer's men will keep on fighting.

Rovers made two changes from the side that defeated Birmingham City 4-2 on Easter Monday.

After recovering from knocks Michael Keane and Tom Cairney returned to the starting XI, Todd Kane dropped to the bench, whilst Jason Lowe missed out due to the injury sustained at St. Andrew's.

The home side made just the one change from their win over Sheffield Wednesday, Astrit Ajdarevic, who had a trial with Rovers some five years ago, coming in for Simon Church.

It was an evening opening in the south London sunshine, as both sides went looking for the three points to further their cause.

The first major talking of the point of the game came at the midway point of the half. Rudy Gestede's ball over the top saw Jordan Rhodes through on goal, he nodded over the advancing Ben Hamer only to be wiped out by the Charlton stopper. Amazingly the referee indicated a goal kick.

Thankfully Rovers were only to rue that decision for just three minutes as Rudy Gestede followed up his three goals on Monday with another headed strike on 26 minutes.

After an excellent clearance by Grant Hanley, Josh King crossed to where the Rovers striker stooped to head home via the foot of the post for his 11th of the campaign.

Charlton looked to hit back straight away, Astrit Ajdarevic just wide with an overhead kick. At the other end Josh King was inches wide after being set away by Tom Cairney.

But on 39 minutes the home side were handed the chance to get back on level terms after they were awarded a spot-kick.

A Jordan Cousins ball from right to left picked out Marvin Sordell on the corner of the area, but as Grant Hanley stuck out a boot to tackle he brought the forward down for an easy penalty decision.

Paul Robinson saved a penalty on this ground last season and he repeated the feat this term, diving to keep out Sordell's effort from 12-yards, much to the delight of the Rovers following behind that goal.

Sordell saw a shot deflected just wide moments later, but it was Rovers who could have extended their lead before the break, Craig Conway with a left-foot shot that flashed a couple of yards wide.

Neither side made changes as play resumed and within six minutes of the restart Rovers had their second of the afternoon.

Following a foul on Corry Evans, assist-specialist Craig Conway sent the resulting free-kick into the penalty area to where Michael Keane rose ahead of Rudy Gestede to head home his third goal in a Rovers shirt since joining on loan from Manchester United.

However the two-goal lead lasted just three minutes as the home side hit back, Marvin Sordell taking advantage of the space afforded to him to turn and steer a well-struck shot beyond Paul Robinson.

Jordan Rhodes fired over from outside the box after good approach play by Evans and Gestede but it wasn't long until the ball nestled into the back of the net once more.

Tom Cairney fed Josh King out on the left and as he raced into the area he squared it for Rhodes who, somehow, saw his effort from ten yards out blocked on the line, but Cairney was on hand to gleefully snap up the rebound with a cute finish into the corner of the goal.

The Addicks weren't finished, Morgan Fox saw a long-range effort beaten away by Robinson, whilst the Rovers number one watched a Johnnie Jackson free-kick flash narrowly over.

Liam Feeney replaced the hardworking Josh King with 15 minutes to go, the Norwegian again claiming an assist in another impressive display.

Feeney then found Jordan Rhodes after a well-worked corner but Ben Hamer claimed the striker's header.

As the match entered the final ten minutes it became increasingly stretched, Sordell fired across the area for the home side, whilst Gestede sliced wide after some lovely football from the away side. Then Feeney was a yard wide of the far post after bursting through. There was still time for Gestede to head onto the crossbar from another ball into the box.

But for Ben Hamer Rovers would have had four on their travels for the second successive game, Rudy Gestede attacking the ball powerfully but the Charlton keeper saved superbly.

The win just keeps Rovers in the play-off hunt, another three points at Ewood Park on the final day of the season against Wigan Athletic could make things interesting.

CHARLTON: Hamer, Jackson (c) (sub Petrucci 82 mins), Morrison, Dervite, Sordell, Harriott (sub Goochannejhad 57 mins), Solly, Cousins, Fox, Poyet, Ajdarevic (sub Church 70 mins).

Subs not used: Thuram-Ulien (GK), Goochannejhad, Obika, Wood, Wilson.

Goals: Sordell 54 mins.

Booked: Fox.

ROVERS: Robinson; Keane, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Olsson; King (sub Feeney 74 mins), Cairney, Evans, Conway (sub Taylor 90 mins); Gestede, Rhodes (sub Williamson 85 mins).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kane, Varney, Rittenberg.

Goals: Gestede 26 mins, Keane 51 mins, Cairney 64 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 15,718 including 940 Rovers fans.

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