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Match Reports

Match Report : 09/03/2014

9 March 2014

Rovers 1 Burnley 2

Two goals in six second half minutes condemn Rovers to their first defeat at the hands of Burnley for 35 years.

It had looked good for Rovers when Jordan Rhodes put the home side in front on 24 minutes with his 17th goal of the season, but they couldn't grab the all-important second goal.

Jason Lowe saw a shot cleared off the line before Rhodes struck the post in the second half breakaway.

The Clarets pressed for a leveller and on 73 minutes it arrived. Jason Shackell heading home substitute Ross Wallace's free-kick in a near carbon-copy of his goal in this fixture last season.

With the impetus firmly in the hands of the visitors they grabbed the decisive goal 11 minutes from time, Wallace again the provider, Danny Ings firing home from ten yards.

There was still time for Rovers to grab an equaliser and they certainly had the chances. Jason Lowe denied by fingertips from Tom Heaton before Rudy Gestede twice squandered late headers.

Rovers have little time to lick their wounds over this defeat, they're back in action against AFC Bournemouth at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.

Gary Bowyer made five changes from the side that tasted defeat at Bolton last time out.

Back into the side came captain Grant Hanley, along with Corry Evans and David Dunn. Whilst Michael Keane was handed his debut and Luke Varney given his first start.

The substitutes bench saw Saturday signing Liam Feeney included.

For the visitors, they named an unchanged line-up for the eighth consecutive match.

Such was the noise at kick-off that Mike Dean's whistle couldn't be heard as the game got under way, and from start to finish it was a breathless opening 45.

Just four minutes in and David Dunn embarked on a trademark run, his cross found Jordan Rhodes who nodded it goalwards but Tom Heaton, scrambling across his area, claimed the ball.

The visitors responded and had the ball in net on eight but it was ruled out due to an offside call. Scott Arfield's low ball across the area was poked home by Sam Vokes but the Burnley striker was a touch in front of the last Rovers man.

That prompted a spell of pressure from the Clarets with full back Keiran Trippier providing the ammunition, his first centre was nodded wide by Danny Ings, his second finding Arfield who had pulled away from Adam Henley at the back post but the effort landed on the roof of the net.

David Dunn was back on the attack with Luke Varney taking up the baton but his shot from outside the box flew a couple of yards over the bar. Then after good battling play by Grant Hanley, Jordan Rhodes latched onto his fellow Scot's clearance but his shot bobbled harmlessly into the arms of Heaton.

Just past the midway point of the half Rovers it was first blood to Rovers. Good attacking play down the right from Craig Conway saw the ball shifted inside to Jason Lowe who centered, Jordan Rhodes took a touch before turning and lashing the ball home into the opposite corner of the net.

Rhodes wheeled away in celebration, his 17th of the season and his first since New Years Day.

Play settled down after the goal but on 39 minutes the visitors were handed an excellent chance to get back on level terms. Craig Conway had shown good defensive work in quelling a threat down the left but then blotted his copybook by playing a back-pass straight into the path of Danny Ings, Robinson saved the initial shot and watched on as Ings put the rebound past the post.

The last action of the first half almost saw Rovers grab a second. Patient build-up play buy the home side saw Conway cut the ball back for Jason Lowe, he shot goalwards but Ben Mee cleared off the line.

In contrast to the first half, the second was more subdued as it got underway, without a chance of note for the first ten minutes.

But when the first chance did come it was a gilt-edge one for Rovers as David Dunn took advantage of a slack back-pass from David Jones to thread the ball through to Jordan Rhodes. The striker advanced and beat Tom Heaton with his shot but the ball smacked the foot of the post and bounced away.

Jones almost atoned for his error moments later with a free-kick that Paul Robinson had to claw away. Then Danny Ings drove wide after a defensive mix-up.

On 68 minutes Sean Dyche made a double change with Ross Wallace and Ashley Barnes thrown into the action, and for the visitors it had the desired effect.

Just five minutes later Wallace send a free-kick into the penalty area and Burnley captain Jason Shackell rose unchallenged to equaliser.

The visitors had their tails up and within six minutes a second goal duly arrives, Wallace taking advantage of a defensive slip by Tommy Spurr to square for Danny Ings and the England Under-21 international drove home from ten yards.

Rovers responded by throwing on Rudy Gestede and the Frenchman had several chances to head the home side back on level terms.

On three occasions the former Cardiff man got his head to a Conway delivery but on each one the ball went straight into the arms of Tom Heaton.

Jason Lowe went the closest with a 25-yard thunderbolt but Heaton kept Rovers at bay with a fingertip save.

Rovers pressed to the death but for once they couldn't find a late equaliser so often seen in this match as the visitors celebrated the victory.

Gary Bowyer's side have little time to dwell, Rovers are back in action at Ewood Park this Wednesday night against AFC Bournemouth.

ROVERS: Robinson, Henley, Hanley (c), Keane, Spurr, Conway, Lowe, Evans (sub Taylor 90+1 mins), Varney (sub Gestede 81 mins), Dunn (sub Feeney 71 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Kane, Olsson, Williamson.

Goals: Rhodes 24 mins.

Booked: Varney, Feeney.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell (c), Mee, Marney, Vokes (sub Barnes 68 mins), Ings, Jones, Kightly (sub Wallace 68 mins), Arfield.

Subs not used: Cisak (GK), Stanislas, Edgar, Treacy, Long.

Goals: Shackell 73 mins, Ings 79 mins.

Booked: Arfield.

Attendance: 21,589  (including 4640 visiting supporters)

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