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Match Reports

Match Report : 05/03/2016

5 March 2016

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Report: Burnley 1 Rovers 0

It was derby day despair for Rovers as they went down 1-0 away to Burnley.

Andre Gray's first half penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides in a controversial match at Turf Moor.

After Danny Graham had seen a goal ruled out for offside, Andre Gray put the home side in front from the penalty spot after George Boyd had been tripped by Shane Duffy.

But Rovers roared back with Tom Heaton making important saves to thwart Elliott Bennett and Hope Akpan. Before Akpan was denied a spot-kick after being brought down by Stephen Ward.

Paul Lambert's side continued to force proceedings in the second half, Bennett with an effort that was tipped onto the post.

With seconds left on the clock Rovers won a free-kick, with everyone up the ball was delivered into the box, Jordi Gomez was brought down but instead of awarding a dramatic penalty at the end of the match, the referee blew the final whistle.

You don't always get what you deserve in football and today was certainly one of those occasions. Rovers were again the better of the two sides, but like the match at Ewood back in October, they somehow left pointless.

Rovers made just the one change from the side that defeated Middlesbrough on Tuesday as Elliott Bennett was preferred to Tony Watt who dropped to the bench.

The home side also made one change from their last outing as former Rovers loanee Michael Keane replaced fellow defender James Tarkowski.

Derby matches can often be tight affairs, but this one was open and stretched from the off.

Within seconds of the start Andre Gray lashed over Jason Steele's crossbar, the offside flag already raised. Then at the other end Jordi Gomez sent a teasing ball into the area, Danny Graham just failing to get the key connection is it flashed past the post.

Shane Duffy was on hand with an important block to deny Joey Barton, before a Stephen Ward centre picked out George Boyd at the back post but Steele gathered easily.

Then Graham thought he had given the Rovers the lead on 13 minutes when he cleverly headed in Duffy's flick, but his celebrations were cut short by the official's flag.

However despite the even start it was the home side who drew first blood just past the quarter-hour. Duffy felt he had more time to clear a ball in his own box and as Boyd nipped in the Burnley man was sent sprawling for a penalty kick.

Gray stepped up from 12-yards, making no mistake with a shot straight down the middle as Steele dived to his left.

Yet despite the disappointment of going behind, Rovers responded well.

After Akpan had glanced a header just wide, Burnley were indebted to their goalkeeper Tom Heaton for two saves to ensure they would lead at the break.

As the ball broke to Elliott Bennett inside the box the attacker let fly, his shot took a deflection on it's way to goal, Heaton diving to his right to tip over the bar.

A minute later and Rovers would go closer with Akpan shooting, but Heaton scrambled across to make the save once more.

However as the half drew to a close Rovers should have been handed a penalty of their own. Akpan showed good footwork to get into the penalty area only to be bundled down from behind by Stephen Ward, but referee Mike Jones waved away the appeals.

Anywhere else on the pitch it surely would have been awarded in Rovers favour.

In contrast to the first, the start of the second half was a much tighter affair, but when play did open up it was the side in blue-and-white making the running.

A Matt Grimes free-kick saw Shane Duffy threaten in the opposition box once more, but his glancing header flashed wide of goal.

Both sides made changes at the hour mark. Fredrik Ulvestad replacing David Jones, whilst Tony Watt was brought on in place of Grimes.

But it was still Rovers forcing the pace, Marshall wide at the near post after collecting a pass inside from Gomez, before the defender tried a speculative effort from distance that Heaton claimed easily.

Rovers were then the width of a post away from getting a deserved leveller on 73 minutes. Bennett with a forceful run into the area, but his shot was tipped onto the post by Heaton and behind.

As the rain swept in from the surrounding hills Chris Brown replaced Akpan in the closing stages, as Rovers continued to press, but after Watt saw a shot in the area blocked, both Hanley and Bennett left the ball to each other and the chance was gone.

A final Rovers free-kick saw everyone up including Steele, and as Bennett sent the ball into the box Jordi Gomez went to ground under a rash challenge from Ulvestad, Mike Jones put the whistle to his mouth, but instead of pointing to the spot, he blew the final whilst.

In the end Rovers were left to rue one first half moment as the why they weren't leaving Turf Moor with at least a point. But they can rightly look to decisions that went against them at the end of each half.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Vokes, Mee, Arfield, Boyd, Lowton, Gray (sub Hennings 75 mins), Jones (sub Ulvestad 59 mins), Barton, Ward, Keane.

Subs not used: Robinson (GK), Darikwa, Tarkowski, Kightly, Taylor.

Goals: Gray (pen) 16 mins.

Booked: Lowton.

ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr, Lenihan, Grimes (sub Watt 62 mins), Akpan (sub Brown 85 mins), J. Gomez, Bennett, Graham.

Subs: Raya (GK), Henley, Ward, Conway, Jackson.

Goals: None.

Booked: J. Gomez, Lenihan, Bennett, Watt.

Attendance: 20,487 (including 2409 Rovers fans). 

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