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Match Reports

Report: Aston Villa 2 Rovers 1

Gallagher gives Rovers the lead but the home side hit back to claim the points

5 November 2016

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A second half brace from Jonathan Kodjia saw Aston Villa come from behind to claim all three points against Rovers.

After a goalless first half in which Rovers went closest through a Sam Gallagher header, the young striker would take his account to seven for the season by powering home the opener eight minutes into the second period.
But Rovers had little time in front as the hosts levelled from the penalty spot after Gordon Greer tripped Jack Grealish. Kodjia making no mistake from the spot.
The Villa forward then raced clear on 70 minutes to complete the turnaround with his second of the match.
Rovers pressed until the end, but they couldn't grab the equaliser their play deserved.
Owen Coyle named an unchanged starting XI for the Villa Park clash, keeping faith with the side that collected a point against Wolves seven days earlier.
The home team made two changes from the one that drew with Birmingham City as Jack Grealish and Ross McCormack came into the side. Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood the men making way.
Villa started the match strongly with Rovers barely out of their own half in the opening 15 minutes, but when they did start to impose themselves the Lancashire club were able to carve out several good opportunities.
Darragh Lenihan was the first to go close, the Irishman heading a Craig Conway corner narrowly over the bar.
Then two minutes later only a spectacular save from Pierluigi Gollini kept the scores level. After Ben Marshall had beat Jordan Amavi down the right, Corry Evans centred for Gallagher to head goalwards, the ball seemed destined for the corner of the net until the Italian's fingertip intervention.
That woke the home side up with Kodjia stinging the gloves of Jason Steele. But Rovers responded as Ben Marshall saw a free-kick tipped over.
Rovers were forced into a substitution just past the half hour as Marvin Emnes pulled up chasing a ball into the corner. Danny Graham on as his replacement.
Despite the change Rovers continued to threaten and only a brilliant block from James Chester prevented Jason Lowe from getting a shot on goal after Gallagher had gotten the better of Nathan Baker.
There were further chances as the first half drew to a close. Gordon Greer and Lenihan for Rovers with headers, whilst Steele easily claimed a back post chance for Ross McCormack.
The visitors had to endure a few nervy moments at the start of the second half, but by 54 minutes they were celebrating scoring the opening goal of the game.
As Rovers progressed down the left, Conway played the ball back to Charlie Mulgrew who picked out Gallagher to perfection as the young striker plundered his seventh goal of the season with a header into the corner.
But the lead would last just three minutes as Villa were awarded a penalty. A mazy run from Grealish ended with him being tripped in the box by Greer.
Jonathan Kodjia stepped up and made no mistake from 12-yards past the despairing dive of Steele.
Marshall saw a shot scooped up by Gollini as Graham threatened, whilst Gary Gardner forced a full-length save from Steele.
But on 70 minutes the home side completed their comeback with a second goal for Kodjia.
Racing onto a ball over the top the Ivory Coast international showed the Rovers defence a clean pair of heels before advancing into the area and poking the ball past Steele.
A diving header from James Chester prevented Graham from geting on the end of a Gallagher flick, then after a spell of pressure, Graham couldn't get a clean connection on a shot in the box.
Five additional minutes were played at the end of the match and although Rovers loaded the penalty area with bodies on several occasions, they were unable to force home a late equaliser that on the balance of play they deserved.
ASTON VILLA: Gollini, Baker, Chester, Hutton, Gardner, Amavi, Jedinak, Kodjia (sub Westwood 74 mins), Adomah, Grealish (sub Elphick 90 mins), McCormack (sub Agbonlahor 68 mins).
Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Tshibola, Gestede, Cissokho.
Goals: Kodjia 58 (pen), 70 mins.
Booked: Baker 24 mins, McCormack 62 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Lowe (c), Greer, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Marshall, Guthrie (sub Akpan 78 mins), Evans, Conway (sub Feeney 66 mins), Emnes (sub Graham 31 mins), Gallagher.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Byrne, Samuelsen, Bennett.
Goals: Gallagher 54 mins.
Booked: Guthrie 66 mins, Akpan 86 mins.
Attendance: 29,712

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