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Match Reports

Match Report : 19/09/2015

19 September 2015

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Report: Rovers 3 Charlton 0

Rovers claimed their first win of the season with a comfortable 3-0 home victory over Charlton Athletic.

A goal in each half from Jordan Rhodes and a thunderbolt from substitute Tom Lawrence ensured all three points for the Lancashire club.

A lively start to the game at Ewood saw both sides create excellent opportunities, Rhodes denied on two occasions by Nick Pope in the Charlton goal, whilst Tony Watt and Johann Berg Gudmundsson went close for the visitors.

With the game heading towards a goalless first-half Rovers drew first blood with a goal in added time, Rhodes getting the final touch after Grant Hanley had headed on Craig Conway's corner.

The match was slower to get going in the second half but it was Rovers who grabbed the all-important second goal with 15 minutes to go.

Substitute Tom Lawrence - on for merely 60 seconds - made the goal, skipping past a couple of challenges before teeing up Rhodes for his second of the game from close-range.

After spurning opportunities to score further goals a third thankfully followed on 85. Lawrence marking his home debut by blasting home from Adam Henley's pass to complete a pleasing day for Rovers.

At a sunny Ewood Park it was the visitors who created the first opening of the game on nine minutes.

As a lofted pass from Jordan Cousins saw Tony Watt beat the Rovers offside trap, the striker attempted to lob the onrushing Jason Steele but his effort was well off target and never troubling the home goal.

Moments later it was Rovers' turn to beat the back line as Ben Marshall's through ball picked out Jordan Rhodes. He had time to control before firing goalwards but Addicks stopper Nick Pope made a fine one-handed save.

Rhodes then intercepted a poor back-pass to race in on goal, but again Pope was equal to the striker's efforts to put the ball behind. Ben Marshall's outstretched boot unable to convert from the resulting Craig Conway corner after Rhodes had flicked on.

In what had started as a tense affair, suddenly there were chances at both ends. A corner from the Charlton left saw the ball find Johann Berg Gudmundsson who fired goalwards but Steele got down to make the save. Before Pope was called into action once more to claim a Fode Koita shot on the turn.

Charlton striker Watt continued to pose the Rovers' back line trouble with his runs off the last man, on 27 minutes the Scot again beat the offside trap but fired across goal and wide.

Watt would then spurn a great chance just past the half hour as Zakarya Bergdich got the better of Shane Duffy, he picked out Watt in space in the area, but the striker's shot deflected off Grant Hanley allowing Steele to claim.

After a flurry of opportunities in the first 30 minutes, the last 15 of the first half saw little in the way of goalmouth action - until time added on.

Good play by Adam Henley on the overlap saw the defender win a corner, and as Conway hit it into the box, Hanley headed goalwards with Rhodes applying the critical final touch.

The striker apologised to his captain for stealing the goal, but only after he'd wheeled away celebrating his third strike in successive matches to ensure Rovers' lead at the break.

After letting a half-time lead slip early on in midweek, Rovers started the second half with a determination to their play. But despite seeing plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, it was the visitors who fashioned the best opportunity as Bergdich saw a goal-bound shot cleared behind by Hanley.

The Rovers' captain then turned provider at the other end with a threaded pass through to Rhodes, who in turn laid it back for Conway but the winger's effort was high over Pope's goal.

Charlton made the first change with Igor Vetokele replacing Mikhail Kennedy, but it was Rovers who went close to doubling their advantage with Rhodes just failing to get a touch to Conway's superb centre.

The home fans urged their team on to grab the all-important second goal to settle the increasing nerves and it finally arrived with 15 minutes to go.

It was the introduction of Tom Lawrence that proved to be the catalyst. A minute after replacing Fode Koita, the Leicester loan man danced into the Charlton penalty area to tee up Rhodes and he gleefully grabbed his second of the game from close-range.

Rovers were then grateful for an important block from Henley after Watt had teed up McAleny  but the home side should then have put the game to bed on 83 but somehow wasted a four-on-one situation as Marshall was denied by Pope.

But thankfully for all of a blue and white persuasion, they didn't have long to wait before they were celebrating a goal for the third time.

After attacking down the right the impressive Henley exchanged passes with substitute Hope Akpan before teeing up Lawrence, and he marked his home debut in emphatic fashion by blasting high into the roof of the net from the corner of the 6-yard box.

Rovers saw out the remaining minutes without any troubles to finally register their first win of the season at the eighth attempt.

ROVERS: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Marshall, Guthrie (sub Akpan 78 mins), Evans (sub Williamson 89 mins), Conway, Koita (sub Lawrence 75 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Kilgallon, Delfouneso, O'Sullivan.

Goals: Rhodes 45+1, 75 mins, Lawrence 85 mins.

Booked: Hanley.

CHARLTON: Pope, Gudmundsson, Bergdich (sub McAleny 69 mins), Fox, Cousins, Kashi, Bauer, Solly (c), Watt (sub Ahearne-Grant 89 mins), Kennedy (sub Vetokele 61 mins), Diarra.

Subs not used: Mitov (GK), Jackson, Sarr, Ba.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 12,088 (including 346 visiting supporters)

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