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Match Reports

Match Report : 07/05/2016

7 May 2016

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Report: Rovers 3 Reading 1

Rovers signed off the 2015-16 season with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Reading at Ewood Park.

Elliott Bennett opened the scoring on eight minutes with a sweet volley, before Danny Graham doubled the home side's advantage six minutes later - his seventh goal since joining the club on loan in January.

Yann Kermogant reduced arrears just past the half hour as the striker's free-kick was adjudged to have crossed the line after bouncing down off the bar, but they rarely looked like getting back on level terms.

The three points were confirmed three minutes from time when Simon Jackson added a third to send the supporters off for the summer with a win.

It was a whirlwind start in the Ewood sunshine as an unchanged Rovers side plundered two goals inside the first 15 minutes.

With the first attack of the game Rovers were in front. Jordi Gomez threading a ball out to Matt Kilgallon marauding down the left and his centre was expertly controlled by Bennett before he fired home.

The lead was doubled just six minutes later with Kilgallon again the man with the supply. The central defender lofted a forward ball for Graham to chase and he cooly volleyed past Ali Al Habsi in the Reading goal.

It was all one way traffic in a scintillating opening period, Matt Grimes saw a header stopped on the line, before Darragh Lenihan blazed over after good work from Marshall, Graham and Gomez.

But on 31 minutes the Royals reduced the deficit thanks to a free-kick from Yann Kermorgant. The striker's effort crashing down off the crossbar with the linesman on the far side ruling that it had crossed the line.

That opened play up with the visitors coming more into the match, yet it was Rovers who could have netted further before the break, Kilgallon again with the delivery, but Gomez couldn't keep his header down.

Brian McDermott made a double change at the break with Hal Robson Kanu and Rob Dickie replacing Kermogant and Josh Barrett to try and force their way back into the game.

But in contrast to the first half, there was little of the way of goalmouth action in the second 45. Rovers did enjoy the majority of possession and opportunities, but Al Habsi was rarely worked.

Shane Duffy was unable to force home a free-kick from Marshall, whilst Graham and substitute Simeon Jackson both saw efforts blocked when in promising positions.

But three minutes from time the Rovers grabbed a third goal to confirm a final day victory. Spaniard Gomez sent over a corner from the right, Player of the Year Grant Hanley nodded the ball back into the six-yard box and Jackson pounced to poke home.

Rovers could have had a fourth in added time as Craig Conway fired goalwards but his curling effort just cleared the bar.

ROVERS: Steele, Duffy, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Marshall (sub Evans 58 mins), Lenihan, Lowe, Grimes (sub Conway 75 mins), J. Gomez, Bennett (sub Jackson 69 mins), Graham.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Henley, Ward, Williamson.

Goals: Bennett 8 mins, Graham 14 mins, Jackson 87 mins

Booked: None.

READING: Al Habsi, Gunter, McShane (c), Norwood, Rakels, McCleary, Quinn (sub Evans 87 mins), Williams, Kermorgant (sub Robson Kanu 46 mins), Cooper, Barrett (sub Dickie 46 mins).

Subs not used: Bond (GK), Kuhl, Stacey, Watson.

Goals: Kermorgant 31 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 13,140 (including 446 visiting supporters)

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