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Match Reports

Match Report : 06/12/2014

6 December 2014

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Report: Rovers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Rovers suffered their first defeat in ten with the last kick of the game at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Substitute Claude Dielna broke home hearts with a 93rd minute winner when it looked like the points would be shared in a tough encounter at Ewood.

For the fourth game in row, Rovers went behind, Kieran Lee scoring the opening goal after just three minutes when Jason Steele had spilled Stevie May's near-post effort.

Rovers responded with Alex Baptiste grabbing his second goal of the campaign on 16 minutes, latching onto Jordan Rhodes' header to fire them back on level terms.

Wednesday continued to pose the greater threat in the first half, yet it was Rovers with the better chance, Rhodes unlucky to see his glancing header strike the post.

Whilst the visitors edged the first, Rovers were the dominant side in the second half, but it was a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for once.

Owls keeper Keiren Westwood kept Rovers at bay, Shane Duffy denied at the near post before Ryan Tunnicliffe's superb volley was tipped over.

So often the side to grab crucial last minute goals, on this occasion it was the visitors who stole all three points. With added time already played, defender Claude Dielna let fly, the ball skimming off a Rovers head and it was just enough to beat Steele and seal defeat.

Rovers made two changes from the side that earned a last-gasp point against Middlesbrough seven days ago.

Jason Steele returned in goal, replacing Simon Eastwood after sitting out the match against his parent club. Whilst Craig Conway was given the nod ahead of Ryan Tunnicliffe who dropped to the bench.

Grant Hanley recovered in time to face the Owls having overcome the ankle knock that forced him off during the first half last week, but Rovers were without Tom Cairney and Adam Henley with ankle and back injuries respectively.

The visitors made just the one change, Kieran Lee replacing the suspended Jose Semedo.

It was a lively start at a chilly Ewood Park, with both sides finding the back of the net inside the opening three minutes. Although only one of those would count.

After Jordan Rhodes saw a strike ruled out for offside inside 30 seconds, the visitors were then twice denied by Jason Steele, before they took the lead.

The Rovers goalkeeper had saved efforts from Jeremy Helen and Stevie May in quick succession, but could have done better on three minutes as the Owls took the lead.

The lively May sprang the offside trap to shoot from the angle, but the Rovers stopper couldn't hold the deflected effort and the recalled Kieran Lee pounced from close-range to put Wednesday in front.

It was the fourth consecutive game that Rovers would have to come from behind, and although it was a sloppy start from the home side, they would draw level just past the quarter hour mark.

Patient play down the right between Lee Williamson, Alex Baptiste and Craig Conway saw Williamson's centre find Rhodes, he headed it down into the path of Baptiste in the area and the defender tucked the ball under the advancing Keiren Westwood for his second goal of the season.

Ben Marshall then stung the gloves of the Wednesday keeper after good work from Rhodes, but it was the visitors who continued to pose the greater threat.

Steele had to turn a May shot behind after Shane Duffy had missed his clearance, before Royston Drenthe hit a 20-yard free-kick narrowly over the bar.

The Owls were then forced into making a change after Lee Williamson and Lewis McGugan went for a header. The Wednesday midfielder was eventually stretchered off after five minutes of treatment, Joe Mattock on as his replacement.

That change forced the visitors into a reshuffle with Helan moving into midfield and Mattock to left back, and Rovers almost took full advantage as Rhodes saw his header strike the far post. The forward getting up well to glance Conway's centre goalwards only to see it hit the woodwork.

Wednesday quickly responded with an excellent chance of their own, captain Glenn Loovens narrowly over with a header from Drenthe's inswinging free-kick.

Rovers had the ball in the back of the net in time added on at the end of the first half, but as with Rhodes' effort after 30 seconds, it was chalked off for offside.

The home side were brighter at the start of the second half, going close on two occasions within minutes of the restart.

Duffy was denied by a superb near-post save from Westwood as the Irishman headed goalwards, before Conway sent over a superb cross that neither Rhodes nor Gestede could capitalise on, Marshall wasteful as he cut inside to shoot well off target.

The visitors continued to pose problems at the back for Rovers, Wednesday's forward play causing several moments of consternation for the blues' defence.

With Rovers struggling to make any headway going forward they needed fresh impetus, and it was provided by a double change just past the hour mark. Ryan Tunnicliffe replacing Lee Williamson, whilst Chris Brown was given his Ewood bow as Rudy Gestede made way.

It seemed to do the trick as as Rovers created a host of chances in a sixty second spell.

Corry Evans saw penalty appeals waved away before Rhodes saw his effort deflect wide. From the resulting corner Duffy went to ground under a challenge but again the referee was unmoved.

Ryan Tunnicliffe was then a whisker away from giving the home side the lead with a superb volley from outside the area, but Keiren Westwood pulled off a fantastic fingertip save to tip the substitute's effort over the bar.

Rovers made their third and final change with seven minutes remaining with David Dunn replacing Craig Conway as they looked for that moment of inspiration to unlock a hugely resolute Wednesday defence.

The Rovers stalwart very nearly delivered after playing a lovely one-two with Brown, but his dangerous ball across goal flashed wide.

Instead it was Wednesday sub Claude Dielna who would get the all-important winner, just 90 seconds after his introduction.

With added time already played, the French defender struck a devastating blow, blasting home a 25-yard effort that deflected past the helpless Steele to win the game for the visitors.

Wednesday had offered little as an attacking force in the second half after being the better of the two sides in the first, but just when it looked like a draw would have been the fair result, they snatched all three points at the death.

ROVERS: Steele, Baptiste, Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson; Conway (sub Dunn 83 mins), Evans, Williamson (sub Tunnicliffe 66 mins), Marshall; Gestede (sub Brown 67 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Varney, Taylor, Songo'o.

Goals: Baptiste 16 mins.

Booked: None.

SHEFF WEDS: Westwood, Loovens (c), May, Palmer, Nuhiu (sub Dielna 90+1 mins), Maguire, Drenthe (sub Lavery 76 mins), Lees, Helan, Lee, McGugan (sub Mattock 35 mins).

Subs not used: Kirkland (GK), McCabe, Maghoma, Corry.

Goals: Lee 3 mins, Dielna 90+3 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 14,920 (including 1772 visiting supporters)

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