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Match Reports

Match Report : 16/02/2016

16 February 2016

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Report: Rovers 3 Fulham 0

Rovers roared back to winning ways on Tuesday night with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Fulham.

Goals from Ben Marshall, Shane Duffy and Danny Graham gave the Lancashire side their first three-point haul of 2016 - and it was fully deserved.

Once Marshall had put the Rovers in front from the penalty spot on 15 minutes there was only going to be one winner. The defender converting from 12-yards after he had been tripped by Luke Garbutt.

The only surprise was that it took until the 62nd minute for the home side to double their advantage. Defender Duffy powering home a header from an Elliott Bennett free-kick.

Three minutes from time Rovers grabbed their third of the game, Graham marking his Ewood debut with a goal in front of the Blackburn End to send the supporters home happy.

Rovers welcomed back Grant Hanley and Danny Graham for the match against Fulham, and along with the return of Elliott Bennett and Chris Brown, it meant four changes from the team that faced Hull City on Saturday.

But it was the visitors who threatened early on, two corners falling to Michael Madl in quick succession, but on both occasions the Fulham man fired wide.

Rovers had looked lively when on the attack, particularly with Marshall who shot narrowly over. But on 15 minutes the defender would earn the home side a penalty after he was tripped in the area by Luke Garbutt.

Marshall stepped up and took the honours himself, making no mistake from 12-yards as Andy Lonergan dived in the opposite direction.

Boosted by the goal, Rovers carried the majority of the threat for the remainder of the half. Corry Evans saw a shot deflect wide, before Graham fired goalwards but straight into the arms of the Fulham keeper.

Such was Rovers' progress down the right that Garbutt was sacrificed after just 34 minutes with Alex Kacaniklic on as his replacement.

But still Rovers carried the threat, a first-time volley from Jordi Gomez flashed over after Elliott Bennett's centre reached the Spaniard. Then a deep cross from Marshall picked out Brown at the back post but Lonergan saved his header.

It was a hardworking first half from those in blue and white, the only thing lacking was the further goals that their play had merited.

Thankfully those goals would come in the second 45. A Marshall cross served notice early on, Graham just unfortunate as the final touch evaded him.

At the other end Kacaniklic chanced his arm from distance to send Jason Steele scrambling, but the effort flashed wide.

Whilst the score remained 1-0 there was always the chance for an undeserved leveller from Fulham, but thankfully on 62 minutes a second goal arrived for the home side.

After Gomez had been fouled by Dan Burn, Bennett took the resulting free-kick and Duffy arrived to head home his first goal at Ewood Park much to everyone's delight.

Graham grazed the outside of the post after Jamie O'Hara's wayward pass played him in, but he would get one more opportunity.

It came after the under-used Jason Steele who saved well to deny Moussa Dembele.

With three minutes to go Rovers grabbed their third and it was a deserved goal for Graham. Gomez and Lenihan combined before play was switched to the right to Bennett and his centre was headed home by the on-loan striker.

Rovers could have had more goals in the closing stages as substitute Simeon Jackson was denied by Lonergan. The result means they leapfrog Fulham in the table and now go into Sunday's FA Cup tie at home to West Ham in good heart.

ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr, Evans, Lenihan, Bennett, J. Gomez, Brown, Graham (sub Jackson 88 mins).

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Henley, Watt, Ward, Grimes, Conway.

Goals: Marshall 15 mins, Duffy 62 mins, Graham 87 mins.

Booked: Graham.

FULHAM: Lonergan, Garbutt (sub Kacaniklic 34 mins), Fredericks, Cairney, Mattila (sub Ream 57 mins), Madl, O'Hara, Dembele, Burn, McCormack (c), Amorebieta (sub Labyad 69 mins).

Subs: Lewis (GK), Richards, Smith, Hyndman

Goals: None.

Booked: Mattila, Fredericks, McCormack.

Attendance: 12,157 (including 318 visiting supporters)

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