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Match Reports

Match Report : 11/12/2015

11 December 2015

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Report: Rovers 1 Rotherham Utd 0

Rovers claimed a third win in their last four outings with a 1-0 victory over Rotherham United on Friday night.

The narrow win at Ewood was Paul Lambert's first on home soil as Rovers closed the gap on the teams above them.

The only goal of the game came just past the half hour when a Craig Conway centre was headed into the back of his own net by the unfortunate Luke Hyam.

Rovers could have added more in the second half as Shane Duffy and substitute Chris Brown went close, whilst the visitors always offered a threat, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Matt Derbyshire with chances for Rotherham.

It was far from a fluid performance from the Rovers, but the sign of a good side is learning how to grind out a result and that is exactly what they did to claim the points.

The Rovers boss named an unchanged line-up for the match against the Millers, but under the Ewood lights it was the home side who showed uncharacteristic nerves in the opening exchanges.

Inside eight minutes the visitors threatened as both Jason Steele and Shane Duffy looked to clear the same ball. Luke Hyam attempted to lob forward with Steele's fingertips allowing Grant Hanley to clear off the line, but whilst it only went as far as Lee Frecklington who poked goalwards, Markus Olsson was on hand to help clear the danger.

It had been a scrappy start for the blue and whites, Rotherham having the better of things with good energy in and out of possession and it wasn't until the 17th minute that Rovers had their first sight of goal. Olsson with a right-footed strike from distance which keeper Lee Camp claimed at the second attempt.

Then after a spell of pressure Corry Evans found Ben Marshall on the right of the area, but Camp beat away his near-post shot.

Pressing and probing, Rovers were seeing more of the ball, a sweeping move started by the darting run of Olsson lead to Marshall letting fly once more but Danny Collins was alert to head behind. 

Rotherham initially cleared the resulting corner kick, but as Craig Conway sent the ball back into the area, and with Jordan Rhodes threatening, Hyam dived to only head the ball into the back of his own net.

Despite Rovers taking the lead they still weren't comfortable at the back. Good movement from Joe Newell saw the midfielder make space in the penalty area to shoot with Steele needing to get down well to save before Duffy cleaned up to ensure a half-time advantage.

The Millers ended the first 45 looking to get back on level terms and they started the second in similar fashion.

A superb move saw Frecklington feed Grant Ward who looked to pick out Hyam but Duffy was there to relieve the danger. Then tenacious blocks from Evans and Marshall were needed as the visitors continued to threaten.

At the other end a strong forward run from Evans allowed Lawrence to dance into the area, he played the ball back to the Northern Ireland international but his effort was wide of target.

Both sides made changes, Chris Brown replacing Lawrence for Rovers, whilst the familiar figure of Matt Derbyshire swapped places with the unfortunate Hyam.

Rovers then threatened from a series of corner kicks, Duffy meeting one well with his head which was tipped over, before a Conway free-kick was flicked goalwards by Brown only for Camp to claim under his bar.

Then as play became stretched Newell and Joe Mattock combined well to win a corner from which Jonson Clark-Harris was a whisker away from levelling. The one-time Rovers trialist attacked the ball at the near post, Rhodes on hand to deflect behind.

As the clock ticked down the Millers went long to force pressure on the Rovers back line leading to nervy moments. Derbyshire with a shot on the turn the closest they came to getting back on level terms, but the ball deflected high into the arms of the grateful Steele.

So often this season Rovers have played well but not got the points they deserved, on this occasion they dug in and ground out the victory.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Marshall (sub Taylor 82 mins), Evans, Akpan, Conway, Lawrence (sub Brown 66 mins), Rhodes (sub Guthrie 88 mins).

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Spurr, Kilgallon, Williamson.

Goals: Hyam (OG) 31 mins.

Booked: None.

ROTHERHAM: Camp, Buxton, Collins, Broadfoot, Mattock, Clarke-Harris, Ward, Hyam (sub Derbyshire 68 mins), Newell (sub Barker 88 mins), Frecklington (c), Smallwood.

Subs not used: Collin (GK), Thorpe, Green, Toffolo, Yates.

Goals: None.

Booked: Broadfoot.

Attendance: 13,054 (including 653 visiting supporters).

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