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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 3 Brentford 2

Rovers collect the points in five-goal thriller

19 November 2016

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Rovers claimed a very welcome three points in a dramatic match at Ewood Park.

Owen Coyle's side rallied from the shock of going behind after just 33 seconds, as Danny Graham struck twice to put the home side in front.
Scott Hogan grabbed his second of a goal-laden first half to make it all square once more, but Harlee Dean put through his own net after excellent play from Sam Gallagher to ensure Rovers lead at the break.
Rovers had further chances to stretch their advantage in the second half as Craig Conway, Corry Evans and Danny Graham all went close, but whilst there were nervy moments as the Bees pressed for a late leveller, the home side held on to clinch the victory.
Fans had barely time to take to their seats when the visitors grabbed the opening goal inside a minute at a snowy Ewood Park.
Just 33 seconds were on the clock when Lasse Vibe threaded a ball through for Scott Hogan and the forward beat the offside trap before beating the advancing Jason Steele with a shot that went in off the post.
Despite the treacherous conditions underfoot Rovers adjusted better and should have been back on level terms on nine minutes.
After keeping Brentford pinned back in their own area, Craig Conway clipped a ball up for Sam Gallagher six yards out, but the striker's header was straight at Bees keeper Daniel Bentley who palmed the ball aside.
Ben Marshall then threatened with a run into the area, but as his cross was put behind, Rovers would score from the resulting corner kick.
Conway delivered from the left, Derrick Williams did brilliantly to turn in the box to cross for Graham who fired home after his initial header had been saved.
Boosted by the leveller, Rover went in search of a second goal and it duly arrived on 19 minutes.
Liam Feeney showed good awareness in midfield to turn the ball round the corner for Corry Evans to chase into the box only for the Northern Irishman to be unceremoniously dumped to the ground by Josh Clarke for a clear penalty kick.
Graham took the honours from 12-yards, sending Bentley the wrong way as he stroked the ball home for his fourth of the season.
The striker was then inches away from grabbing a first half hat-trick when he glanced a Conway corner just past the post. The ball grazing the side-netting.
The home side continued to press, and saw claims for a second penalty waved away when Conway went down in the box. Referee Christopher Kavanagh deeming that the Scot had dived and showed him a yellow card.
But on the half hour Rovers were picked apart as the Bees got back on level terms with a second goal for Hogan.
Playing inside from left to right, Nico Yennaris provided the slide rule pass for the former Rochdale man who beat Steele with a shot into the far corner to make it 2-2.
Conway drove wide from 20-yards at one end before Sullay KaiKai was closer with a similar effort at the other as both sides looked to get back in front.
It would be the side in blue and white who would have the advantage at the break when a storming run from half way by Sam Gallagher ended in his centre being put into the back of his own net by Brentford captain Harlee Dean.
In contrast to the first half, the second was certainly slower to get going, the visitors seeing more of the ball as they looked to get back into the game.
But despite the Bees enjoying plenty of possession in threatening areas it was Rovers who were creating the more clear-cut opportunities.
Marshall fired over left-footed, before a Feeney centre almost found the back of the net after it deflected off Andreas Bjelland.
At the other end a KaiKai corner was met on the volley by Hogan, but the striker didn't get enough on his effort and Rovers were able to clear.
Then on 73 Gallagher cleverly played in Conway but his shot was blocked by John Egan, it ran to Graham but left-footed he could only find the stands.
Three minutes later only a fantastic double save from Bentley prevented Rovers from putting clear daylight between the two sides. The Brentford keeper dived to keep out a Corry Evans strike, Graham looked to pounce on the rebound, but Bentley pushed it aside.
That would prove to be the last involvement for Graham as the man-of-the-match made way for Ryan Nyambe. That meant a Championship debut for the young defender as he slotted in at right back, Marshall moving further forward.
As the clock ticked on the Bees pressed and pressed. There were important headers and last-ditch blocks from those in blue and white as they came under increasing pressure. But as a high ball into the Rovers box was claimed high by Steele, the home fans could breathe a sigh of relief as the final whistle blew to signal a very welcome three points.
ROVERS: Steele, Marshall, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney, Lowe, Evans (sub Bennett 86 mins), Conway, Graham (sub Nyambe 77 mins), Gallagher.
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Byrne, Stokes, Samuelsen, Brown.
Goals: Graham 15, 20 (pen) mins, Dean (OG) 38 mins.
Booked: Conway 27 mins, Lowe 58 mins, Marshall 66 mins.
BRENTFORD: Bentley, Colin, Bjelland (sub Barbet 88 mins), Dean (c), Yennaris, Hogan, Egan, Woods, Clarke, Vibe (sub Sawyers 70 mins), KaiKai.
Subs not used: Bonham (GK), McEachran, Hofmann, Kerschbaumer, Field.
Goals: Hogan 1, 30 mins.
Booked: Bjelland 18 mins, Yennaris 66 mins.
Attendance: 10,506 (including 418 visiting supporters)

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