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Match Reports

Match Report : 24/01/2015

24 January 2015

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Report: Rovers 3 Swansea City 1

Rovers booked their place in the 5th round of the FA Cup with an impressive 3-1 win over Swansea City.

Second half goals from former Cardiff players Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede downed the Premier League side who finished the match with nine men.

Josh King was given a rare start to exploit the visitors with his pace and he made his mark after just six minutes when the Norwegian - as last man - was fouled by Kyle Bartley who inevitably saw red.

But despite being a man light, Swansea didn't let it affect them, Gylfi Sigurdsson's sumptous strike putting them in front on 21 minutes.

Their lead lasted just two minutes as Chris Taylor, who scored twice in the previous round, made it three in the competition with hooked shot to put Rovers back on level terms.

The second half saw Rovers in the ascendency, but it wasn't until 12 minutes from time that their pressure eventually told.

A quick corner was played short to Markus Olsson who centred, and whilst substitute Gestede couldn't score with his first touch, he found the back of the net with his second.

As the visitors pushed forward in the closing stages, Rovers grabbed a third on the break. Olsson and Conway combining upfield for Conway to score his first goal at Ewood with a low strike that crept past Lukasz Fabianski.

Swansea ended with nine men as scorer Sigurdsson saw red for a rash challenge on Taylor, making the final moments comfortable as Rovers celebrated their passage into the next round of the competition.

Rovers made six changes from the side that drew away at Wigan Athletic last time out.

Simon Eastwood, Adam Henley, Shane Duffy, Chris Taylor, Lee Williamson and Josh King all given a chance to impress in the cup.

The visitors also made changes from the side that last at home to Chelsea, with Jordi Amat, Jonjo Shelvey, Angel Rangel, Kyle Bartley and Mo Barrow all starting.

Those Rovers changes saw them line up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, Williamson holding ahead of a midfield of Tom Cairney, Jason Lowe, Chris Taylor and Craig Conway, with Josh King up front to trouble the Premier League side with his pace.

Just six minutes into the match it would have great effect as the visitors were reduced to ten men. Matt Kilgallon with a long ball forward out of defence set Josh King on chase. The bounce of the ball allowed the Norwegian international to get in front of defender Kyle Bartley who brought the Rovers forward down.

Referee Craig Pawson deemed the Swansea player was the last man and showed him a straight red card.

Tom Cairney saw his resulting free-kick saved by Lukasz Fabianski, King unable to get a meaningful touch on the rebound to direct it on target.

That red saw Swans boss Garry Monk forced into an early change as midfielder Tom Carroll made way for defender Federico Fernandez.

King was proving to be troublesome to the visiting defence, his pace saw him break into the box once more before finding Cairney, but Fabianski claimed the midfielder's shot high above his head.

Despite the bright start from the home side, it was Swansea who opened the scoring just before the midway point of the half in emphatic fashion.

There appeared to be little on for the visitors as Gylfi Sigurdsson made his way along the edge of the area, but he unleashing an unstoppable shot that flew into Simon Eastwood's top-right corner.

Rovers trailed for just two minutes as Chris Taylor, goal hero from the previous round, quickly got the blue and whites back on level terms.

King sent Markus Olsson on the overlap down the left and the Swede delivered to the back post, Tom Cairney nodded down and with a shot on the turn Taylor swept the ball home.

It was an open and entertaining first half at Ewood Park, King saw an effort cleared away at one end, whilst Nathan Dyer was thwarted by a Shane Duffy block at the other.

Rovers were forced into a change just before half-time as Williamson limped off. David Dunn replaced the midfielder. That meant a reshuffle amongst the ranks as Taylor moved out to the right, Cairney inside and Dunn behind King up front.

There were no further changes as the second half got under way, Duffy immediately called upon to make an important block as Bafetimbi Gomes let fly.

Rovers raced back up the other end with Craig Conway setting the fleet-footed King away, but after getting to the byline he opted to shoot rather than pull the ball back for Dunn, with Fabianski able to claim the ball high above his head.

Then a clever reverse pass from Dunn found Cairney in the area, but his left-footed shot failed to trouble the Swansea goal.

Rovers kept up the pressure on the visitors, Dunn looking to make the most of the extra man. But with the Welsh side getting bodies behind the ball the home side were restricted to long-range efforts from Taylor and Olsson that were never going to test Fabianski.

Rudy Gestede came on for Josh King on the hour mark and almost immediately he made his presence known. A cross from Olsson looped off a defender to give the Benin man a chance to reach the high ball, but the Swans keeper managed to punch clear. That was quickly followed by a Conway centre that saw the striker a whisker away from connecting.

Matt Kilgallon went closer, but his glancing header from a Conway free-kick was straight into the arms of Fabianski.

Both sides made their final changes with 13 minutes to go. Jordan Rhodes replacing fellow substitute David Dunn, whilst Nelson Oliviera took the place of fellow forward Bafetimbi Gomis.

Within a minute Rovers took the lead for the first time in the tie. A quick corner on the left was played to Olsson, his centre found Gestede and whilst he couldn't get a meaningful connection with his first touch, his second saw the ball nestle into the back of the net.

A man light, the visitors rarely threatened, substitute Nelson Oliviera the only man to test Simon Eastwood in the second half, but he was more than equal the forward's efforts.

With Swansea needing to get back on level terms, Rovers were able to take advantage of the space afforded to them further forward.

Just ahead of the 90-minute mark Rovers ensured their name would be in the hat for the fifth round draw with a well worked third.

Conway sent a ball down the left channel for Olsson to chase and he advanced before playing it back to the former Cardiff man who drilled it hard and low, the ball creeping into the back of the net.

Any chance of an unlikely comeback from the Welsh club ended when the Swans were reduced to nine men in added time. Goalscorer Gylfi Sigurdsson blotting his copybook with a reckless challenge from behind on Taylor when the whistle had already gone for an earlier infringement.

Rovers can now look forward to Monday night's 5th round draw, before they face the challenge of Derby County in the league on Tuesday.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley, Duffy, Kilgallon, Olsson, Taylor, Lowe (c), Williamson (sub Dunn 41 mins (sub Rhodes 77 mins), Conway, Cairney, King (sub Gestede 60 mins).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), Hanley, Brown, Marshall.

Goals: Taylor 23 mins, Gestede 78 mins, Conway 89 mins.

Booked: Williamson.

SWANSEA: Fabianski, Amat, Shelvey, Rangel (c), Bartley, Tiendalli, Carroll (sub Fernandez 9 mins), Sigurdsson, Dyer, Barrow (sub Montero 62 mins), Gomis (sub Nelson Oliviera 77 mins).

Subs not used: Tremmel (GK), Fulton, Emnes, Naughton.

Goals: Sigurdsson 21 mins.

Booked: Dyer.

Off: Bartley, Sigurdsson.

Attendance: 5928 (including 590 visiting supporters)

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