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Match Reports

Match Report : 14/12/2015

14 December 2015

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Report: Rovers 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Rovers increased their unbeaten run to eight games but they were left frustrated by Forest in a goalless draw at Ewood Park.

A third clean sheet in succession ensured Paul Lambert's side have yet to taste defeat, but the point could easily have been three.

Rovers were dominant in a one-sided first half. Fode Koita, Jordan Rhodes and Shane Duffy all going close.

But it was Ben Marshall who had the best of the opportunities, the attacker unfortunate to see his thunderous effort crash down off the crossbar.

The second period saw the visitors finally threaten as Henri Lansbury and Ben Osborn tested Jason Steele, however Koita, making his first start since September, could have grabbed his first Rovers goal but his close-range header was straight at Dorus De Vries.

In the end Rovers were grateful for a stunning save from Steele in time added on, Matt Mills' back post header seemed destined for the far corner until the keeper's fingertips touched the ball onto the post.

The point means 11 taken from a possible 15, had Rovers taken their chances, it could have been more.

Rovers' start was as bright as the visitors' yellow kit as they immediately took the game to their opponents.

Paul Lambert suggested he'd freshen up the squad following the Friday night win over Rotherham United, and it was Fode Koita, one of two changes, who caught the eye early on.

The Frenchman's flick to Jordan Rhodes saw his cross cause Forest problems, defender Eric Lichaj fortunate to see his clearance strike Ben Marshall and ricochet behind for a goal kick. 

Then, after Hope Akpan had headed over a Craig Conway free-kick, further good forward play saw Marshall cross into the six-yard box but Koita couldn't get enough purchase on his header and it was easily claimed by Dorus De Vries in goal.

Play continued towards the Bryan Douglas Darwen End. Another flick from Koita lead to another chance, Conway eventually crossing for Marshall at the back post, but whilst the midfielder got above his marker, De Vries was able to claim the effort.

Defender Michael Mancienne saw yellow for pulling back Koita, Conway took the resulting free-kick, but Shane Duffy was denied a first headed Rovers goal as De Vries saved low.

The home side continued to knock on the door, Conway with a centre to the near post, Rhodes just wide with a diving header.

On 36 minutes the Rovers went even closer, Markus Olsson's storming run and cross picked out Rhodes who teed up Marshall for the shot, but from the corner of the box his effort beat De Vries only to slam against the crossbar and away to safety.

Rovers continued to push for the opening goal in what was a very one-sided half, but despite their enterprising forward play, they were unable to breach the Forest defences as they went in at the break wondering quite how they weren't a couple of goals to the good.

After offering very little as an attacking force in the first half, Forest threatened with the first chance of the second. Captain Henri Lansbury warming the gloves of Jason Steele with a shot from distance that the Rovers man gathered low.

Forest sent on Nelson Oliveira for Jonny Williams, whilst Rovers also made a change with Corry Evans replacing the booked Danny Guthrie.

Evans was immediately involved as his threaded pass picked out Koita, but the Frenchman's left-footed strike was well off target.

But after a one-sided first half Rovers were no longer dominating play, Oliveira feeding Ben Osborn to shoot, Steele claimed at his post.

Then play was  suddenly switched to the other end, Evans picking out Koita once more with a peach of a cross but his header was straight down the throat of De Vries. It was a golden opportunity for the forward to open his Rovers account.

But in a second half that saw less flowing football than the first, the visitors were a whisker away from snatching all three points in the second of eight additional minutes.

A ball to the back post picked out top scorer Matt Mills, but Steele showed tremendous reflexes to tip his header onto the post and away.

With both sides having played just 72 hours earlier there were tired legs on show in the closing stages, neither team able to muster up one final effort to seal the win.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Marshall (sub Taylor 74 mins), Guthrie (sub Evans 65 mins), Akpan (sub Williamson 83 mins), Conway, Koita, Rhodes

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

Goals: None

Booked: Guthrie, Olsson, Koita.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST: De Vries, Lichaj, Mancienne, Mills, Lansbury (c), Ward, Williams (sub Nelson Oliveira 57 mins), Blackstock (sub O'Grady 88 mins), Pinillos, Tesche, Osborn.

Subs not used: Evtimov (GK), Trotter, Vaughan, Hobbs, Burke.

Goals: None

Booked: Mancienne, Tesche.

Attendance: 12,002 (including 491 visiting supporters)

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