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Match Reports

Match Report : 11/03/2015

11 March 2015

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Report: Rovers 1 Wanderers 0

Jordan Rhodes was Rovers' last-action hero as his 94th minute goal won an end-to-end encounter against Bolton.

The club's record striker struck with mere seconds left on the clock af the end of the match to clinch all three points for the home side.

In what was a slow burner at Ewood Park, it wasn't until the second half that the game really sprang into life.

Bolton keeper Ben Amos saved well from Chris Brown, Tom Cairney, and Rhodes, whilst Jason Steele made superb saves to thwart Neil Danns, Craig Davies and Adam Le Fondre.

But with almost four minutes of the allotted time played, Ben Marshall won a corner on the left, Cairney delivered, Doneil Henry headed on and Rhodes did the rest.

The first half at Ewood Park saw Rovers have the majority of the play, and the better of the chances, but without testing Ben Amos in the Bolton goal.

After Rovers' stopper Jason Steele was called into making a fine save from a 8th minute Adam Le Fondre free-kick, it was one way traffic towards the Trotters' goal.

With Tom Cairney pulling the strings in the centre and Ben Marshall and Craig Conway lively on the flanks, the home side took control, but they couldn't make their domination count.

After pressure from a free-kick Matt Kilgallon sliced an ambitious overhead kick wide of goal, before Tom Cairney pounced on a loose pass inside to flash an effort just side.

But with Rovers playing their 10th match in little over a month, the already stretched squad suffered injury-wise as Corry Evans and Markus Olsson both limped off. Lee Williamson and Tommy Spurr their replacements.

Despite the double blow, Rovers continued to force the pace, going close on two further occasions before the half-time whistle. Conway lashing a low shot just wide, before turning provider with a ball into the box for Marshall, but he put his header over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

If it had been on target they'd have gone in at the break in front, instead they were left to reflect on an opening half of what might have been.

Marshall went close with the last chance of the first half and he would do likewise at the start of the second.

Three minutes in and Jordan Rhodes was flattened by Giles Coke 25-yards out, Marshall took the responsibility with the free-kick, but put it just the wrong side of Amos's left-hand post.

Rovers continued to press and probe without reward. Just before the hour a long throw from Spurr was cleared only as far as Cairney but he sliced his effort and although it went straight to Rhodes he put the header wide of goal.

Moments later another Spurr long throw caused confusion from Chris Brown's flick, Saidy Janko just about clearing the ball away when facing his own goal in the six-yard box.

The impressive Cairney then fed Brown in the box, he shifted the ball well onto his right but Amos saved at his near post.

Having gone close creating chances, the midfielder then tried his luck from distance, Amos getting fingertips to touch his low shot around the post.

From the resulting corner kick Doneil Henry almost marked his home debut with a goal but his near-post header flashed inches wide.

With 20 minutes to go Rovers made their final change of the night as Rudy Gestede, so impressive in the weekend draw with Liverpool, replaced Chris Brown who had worked tirelessly up front without reward.

Instead it was the visitors who started to gain the upper hand as the half wore on.

Matt Mills headed over a Liam Feeney corner kick, before Jason Steele had to save low to keep out a Neil Danns long-range strike.

But the save of the match came on 79 as substitute Craig Davies was set free through on goal, but with just the Rovers keeper to beat, Steele stood firm to save the low shot with his legs.

Suddenly it was end-to-end. A ball whipped into the Bolton area saw Rhodes head goalwards. Amos impressive once more in saving on his line. Steele topped that by showing great reactions to save a Le Fondre flick at the near post.

The drama continued as Conway raced into the box, his pull back found Marshall but as his shot was blocked it ran to Rhodes but he couldn't head the ball on target.

Games between the two sides have historically had late drama and as the tireless Marshall won Rovers a corner deep into added time, there was just enough left on the clock for more.

Tom Cairney whipped the ball in from the left, Doneil Henry headed goalwards, Jordan Rhodes stuck out a boot and the ball flew into the back of the net.

For the majority of the match Bolton had barely offered a threat, but Steele made the saves and Rhodes did the rest to earn Rovers a deserved three points.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Henry, Kilgallon (c), Olsson (sub Spurr 45 mins), Conway, Cairney, Evans (sub Williamson 32 mins), Marshall, Brown (sub Gestede 70 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Taylor, Songo'o, Lenihan.

Goals: Rhodes 90+4 mins.

Booked: Henry.

BOLTON: Amos, Mills (c), Ream, Feeney, Le Fondre, Danns, Heskey (sub Davies 73 mins), Vela, Janko (sub Moxey 68 mins), Coke, McCarthy.

Subs not used: Lonergan (GK), Hall, Trotter, Gudjohnsen, Walker.

Goals: None

Booked: Danns, Heskey, Mills.

Attendance: 15,362 (including 2362 visiting supporters)

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