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Match Reports

Match Report : 22/03/2014

22 March 2014

Rovers 1 Leicester City 1

Matt Kilgallon's first goal for Rovers earned them a share of the spoils in an enthralling encounter at Ewood Park.

The Rovers defender's glancing header at the end of the first half cancelled out Jamie Vardy's close-range effort.

Both goals came in the first half, and whilst there were no further scores in the second, it wasn't for a lack of chances. Jamie Vardy struck the post for the visitors, whilst Rudy Gestede saw his goalbound header blocked by fellow striker Jordan Rhodes.

Craig Conway and Gestede both saw further shots saved, then Matt Kilgallon struck the outside of the post with a header. But at the other end bodies were thrust on the line to ensure that the game ended all square.

For the Foxes, their march towards promotion shows little sign of slowing, for Rovers, they can take great heart from their display against the league leaders.

Ahead of the game Gary Bowyer made two changes to the starting eleven from the side that defeated Huddersfield Town 4-2 seven days earlier.

Liam Feeney was handed his first start in a Rovers shirt, replacing David Dunn who dropped to the bench, whilst Adam Henley returned to the starting line-up with Jason Lowe missing out with an ankle injury.

Rudy Gestede was thankfully given the all clear following last week's concussion at the John Smith's Stadium.

The visitors were unchanged following their 3-1 win over Blackpool last time out.

It was an even opening to the match, both sides enjoying possession without either penalty area being threatened.

With defences on top it was going to take either a moment of magic or a mistake, and unfortunately for defender Adam Henley, it was his error that lead to the opening goal being scored.

The Foxes attacked down the left, but as Henley looked to clear the danger he could only play it straight to Jamie Vardy, he fed David Nugent who forced a fantastic one-handed save from Paul Robinson.

As the ball went away to the right, the visitors kept play alive with Richie De Laet racing into the box and he squared for Vardy to cutely tap home from a yard out.

Rovers were very nearly back on level terms straight from the kick-off, but as Jordan Rhodes looked to clip the ball over Kasper Schmeichel, the Dane pulled off a tremendous stop to keep the striker's effort out.

Rhodes then saw his claims for a penalty waved away as he went down under pressure from De Laet and Marcin Wasilewski, before a corner routine saw Craig Conway cross to the back post, but Schmeichel claimed Tommy Spurr's header.

Leicester rode that pressure and then looked to take control of the game. Vardy wasting an excellent chance to get his second of the game when he fired over from Riyad Mahrez's cross.

The Foxes were in full command, keeping possession, teasing Rovers, but like the first goal, an error would lead to the equaliser before the break.

There seemed to be little pressure as Richie De Laet overhit a backpass from halfway that Schmeichel couldn't keep in, and as Craig Conway whipped the ball over, Matt Kilgallon glanced home from the near post for his first Rovers goal.

It was a welcome equaliser for Rovers, just as the visitors looked in control.

Kicking towards the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End, Rovers came out with renewed enthusiasm at the start of the second half, laying siege to the Leicester defence.

Two minutes in and a Craig Conway corner was met powerfully by Rudy Gestede but somehow Jordan Rhodes blocked the effort.

Rovers continued to press, throwing caution to the wind, and that almost proved costly as Leicester hit the home side on the break. Jamie Vardy breaking through, rounding Paul Robinson but his shot hit the foot of the post and the rebound was cleared.

Again play went back the other way, Craig Conway, impressive once again, fired the ball low into the area, but Michael Keane fired over from close-rage, then Liam Feeney beat his man to find Lee Williamson, he couldn't get to the ball, it arrived with Conway but his scuffed shot was kept out by Schmeichel.

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson looked to redress the situation with two changes in quick succession as Dean Hammond and Liam Moore were introduced.

But Rovers continued to attack, Kilgallon inches away from grabbing his second of the game when he latched onto Gestede's flick from a Conway corner only to head into the side-netting.

Leicester aren't league leaders for no reason and they showed their qualities with strong decisive attacks. Matty James volleyed over when well placed, before Danny Drinkwater went close.

Then a scramble in the Rovers box saw bodies on the line as Vardy and Drinkwater were thwarted by blocks.

The game was building towards a climatic finish, but an injury to Adam Henley knocked the wind out of the game. The defender down for an extended spell after defending a strong run from Jeff Schlupp. Eventually the full back was stretchered off as Rovers' injury woes showed no sign of abating.

A break from Matt Kilgallon almost lead to a goal a minute from time, the defender raced out of his own area to feed Henley's replacement Todd Kane, the full back saw his shot blocked, it ran to Rudy Gestede but Kasper Schmeichel was equal to his efforts.

The referee drew the irk of the home fans and Jordan Rhodes after denying the striker a penalty, but whilst seven additional minutes were shown, Rovers saw out the game defending stoutly.

In some respects Rovers will have been disappointed to take a point from the match, but against a the league's top side they put in a top display to give heart for the remaining games of the season.

ROVERS: Robinson, Henley (sub Kane 88 mins), Keane, Kilgallon, Spurr, Feeney (sub Taylor 77 mins), Williamson (sub King 90+1 mins), Evans, Conway, Rhodes (c), Gestede.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Dunn, Olsson, Varney.

Goals: Kilgallon 43 mins.

Booked: Kilgallon.

LEICESTER: Schmeichel, De Laet (sub Moore 64 mins), Drinkwater, Morgan (c), James (sub King 76 mins), Vardy, Schlupp, Knockaert (sub Hammond 62 mins), Mahrez, Wasilewski, Nugent.

Subs not used: Logan (GK), Taylor-Fletcher, Phillips, Wood.

Goals: Vardy 20 mins.

Booked: Schmeichel.

Attendance: 16,528 (including 3626 visiting supporters).

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