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Match Reports

Match Report : 20/12/2014

20 December 2014

Report: Rovers 2 Charlton Athletic 0

A first half brace from Jordan Rhodes safely secured all three points against Charlton Athletic.

Before today the Addicks had lost just three times in the league this season, and were victorious on their last two visits at Ewood, but they were no match for an impressive Blackburn Rovers side who ran out comfortable winners.

Ahead of the game the manager had called for a bright start and the players delivered, Ben Marshall slipping Rhodes in to open the scoring after just six minutes.

On 19 Rovers - and Rhodes - had their second, the striker chasing a lost cause from Rudy Gestede's flick to beat Tal Ben Haim and Nick Pope to roll the ball home.

Charlton rarely offered an attacking threat, Rovers the side more likely to add to their tally, particularly with David Dunn pulling the strings after his second half introduction.

But whilst further goals didn't arrive, the home side saw out the game with ease to take three points into next week's festive programme.

Rovers made two changes from the side that lost to Brentford last time out.

Jordan Rhodes returned to the starting eleven, whilst there was first league start since the end of August for Jason Lowe after recovering from a broken foot.

Lee Williamson and Craig Conway dropped to a substitute's bench that saw Josh King and Matt Kilgallon return.

Those changes also meant a change in formation with a three-man forward line as Ben Marshall dropped in behind Rhodes and Rudy Gestede, with Lowe shielding the back four with Corry Evans and Ryan Tunnicliffe in front.

With the very first attack of the match the formation change almost paid dividends.

As Marshall found space, he threaded the ball through to Rhodes in on goal, but Nick Pope in the Charlton goal saved the striker's shot with his legs.

Three minutes later and Rovers were in front. Alert play by Shane Duffy saw him steal the ball off Jordan Cousins in centre midfield to find Marshall further forward, and with options left and right in Rhodes and Gestede, Marshall went left and slipped in Rhodes who fired low into the back of the net for his 8th of the season.

It was so very nearly 2-0 moments later as Pope failed to catch a hooked ball by Rhodes, Gestede reacted quickest to hit goalwards but was unfortunate to see his effort strike the head of defender Ben Haim.

Rovers continued to threaten a second and it duly arrived on 19 minutes.

A ball out of defence saw Gestede flick on for Rhodes, but as he gave chase into the box he seemed second best to reach it, but great persistance saw him beat both Ben Haim and then Pope to the ball to roll it into the back of the unguarded net.

With the visitors failing to offer any meaningful forward play manager Bob Peeters made what appeared to be a tactical change after just 30 minutes. Full back Morgan Fox made way with Lawrie Wilson on as his replacement.

Instead it was Rovers who were still carrying the attacking threat, Jason Lowe almost marking his return with a stunning 25-yard strike, but Pope got vital fingertips to the midfielder's effort to push it over the bar.

It was only in the final ten minutes of the first half that the Addicks put any pressure on the Rovers defence.

A ball into the box from Charlton captain Chris Solly was glanced wide by Igor Vetokele, then Callum Harriott volleyed well off target after the visitors seized upon an error from Grant Hanley.

But the defender redeemed himself in added time when he diverted a goal-bound header from Vetokele wide following an excellent cross by Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

But that late flurry of opportunities for Charlton only masked what was a very dominant first half display from the home side, full value for their two-goal lead at the break.

Rovers were unchanged as the second half got underway, but the visitors made their second switch of the afternoon with Joe Pigott replacing Callum Harriott.

But Rovers were soon forced into a change themselves with the lively Jason Lowe unable to continue, Lee Williamson on as his replacement.

Markus Olsson went close to opening his account for the season with a storming run into the area, but the Swede poked wide at the near post.

Then a low cross from Baptiste was dummied by Corry Evans, however Gestede's first-time effort was well off target from ten yards out.

As the second half wore on the visitors looked to try to get back into the game, but they rarely threatened. Steele saving easily from Gudmundsson, before Andre Bikey headed over the bar from a corner kick.

But any danger of a comeback from Charlton ended when David Dunn and Josh King were introduced with just over ten minutes remaining.

Within moments of Dunn's introduction the midfielder linked up well with Alex Baptiste who in turn found Ryan Tunnicliffe, his shot seemed destined for the far corner but Pope saved well.

A minute later Dunn again played a superb pass as he set King away, but the Norwegian blazed high over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

The closing stages were comfortable for Rovers as they pressed for a third, but they can be satisfied with their afternoon's work with two goals, three points and a clean sheet.

ROVERS: Steele, Baptiste, Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson, Tunnicliffe, Lowe (sub Williamson 49 mins), Evans, Marshall (sub Dunn 77 mins), Gestede (sub King 76 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kilgallon, Varney, Conway

Goals: Rhodes 6, 19 mins.

Booked: None.

CHARLTON: Pope, Gomez, Bikey, Gudmundsson, Harriott (sub Pigott 46 mins), Vetokele, Buyens, Solly (c), Fox (sub Wilson 30 mins), Cousins (sub Bulot 73 mins), Ben Haim.

Subs not used: Etheridge (GK), Onyewu, Tucudean, Ahearne-Grant.

Goals: None.

Booked: Buyens.

Attendance: 13,231 (including 318 visiting supporters)

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