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Match Reports

FA Cup Report: Rovers 2 Blackpool 0

Bennett's stunner helps down Seasiders

28 January 2017

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Rovers booked their place in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Blackpool.

It was a comfortable afternoon for the home side as two first half strikes were enough to ensure their name would be in the hat for Monday night's draw.
Rovers opened the scoring just nine minutes in, Jason Lowe sending the ball into the box to where Sam Gallagher got his head to the ball before keeper Sam Slocombe and he duly nodded home.
Some 12 minutes later Rovers doubled their advantage in emphatic fashion thanks to a stunning 30-yard strike from Elliott Bennett. The Seasiders could have two goalkeepers and they wouldn't have been able to save it.
Any chance of a comeback from the visitors ended when Kelvin Mellor saw red for a couple of late challenges in quick succession just past the hour mark, and although Will Aimson headed against the bar, it was a rare chance for Blackpool.
Rovers could have had further goals to their tally as Gallagher, Derrick Williams and Craig Conway were all denied late on as they saw the game out to reach the last 16 of the competition.
Eager to continue their progress in the competition, boss Owen Coyle named a strong line-up for the all Lancashire clash. Just two changes were made as Ryan Nyambe and Craig Conway returned to the side.
Rovers had three Academy graduates in the starting XI and a further four on the bench, and two of them played a part in the opening goal after just nine minutes.
As Nyambe fed the ball inside to Jason Lowe the Rovers captain's centre dissected the Blackpool back line perfectly allowing Gallagher to head unmarked past the advancing Slocombe.
Former Rover Andy Taylor drove wide for the visitors whilst Bright Osayi-Samuel shot straight at Jason Steele as the visitors looked for an immediate reaction, but on 21 minutes Rovers doubled their advantage in sensational fashion.
As Lowe worked the ball through midfield to Bennett, he exchanged passes with Conway before unleashing a stunning strike from 30-yards that flew into the top corner of the goal for his first of the season.
Jack Payne tried a similar effort for the Tangerines, the ball flying just over the bar as the half ended with Rovers fully in control.
Unlike the first the second half was slow to get going, but the sending off of Blackpool defender Kelvin Mellor on 65 minutes gave Rovers a further advantage.
They looked to make the most of it as Darragh Lenihan almost got sight of goal after Slocombe spilled a Bennett centre, before from another cross from the man-of-the-match Bennett saw Gallagher denied at the back post.
However sloppy play by Rovers could have lead to Blackpool getting back into the match on 72 when a cross from Clark Robertson picked out Will Aimson, but he headed against the crossbar.
In what was the visitor's best spell substitute Jamille Matt headed over from a corner from fellow sub Mark Yeats. Matt then blazed over when he capitalised on an error from Danny Guthrie.
But it was Rovers substitute Connor Mahoney that could have helped the home side add to their tally with key crosses in the closing stages. The winger picked out Gallagher who played in Williams, but his shot was straight at the keeper, before another Mahoney centre found Conway, but he couldn't force it home.
Rovers will be ball number 13 for the draw, it takes place at approximately 7.10pm on Monday night.
ROVERS: Steele, Nyambe, Lenihan, Greer, Williams, Bennett, Akpan (sub Guthrie 67 mins), Lowe (c), Conway, Gallagher, Graham (sub Mahoney 72 mins).
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Stokes, Tomlinson, Brown, Travis.
Goals: Gallagher 9 mins, Bennett 22 mins.
Booked: None.
BLACKPOOL: Slocombe, Mellor, Taylor (c), McAlister, Robertson, Aimson, Cullen (sub Matt 55 mins), Aldred, Osayi-Samuel (sub Odelusi 55 mins), Pugh, Payne (sub Yeates 63 mins).
Subs not used: Lyness (GK), Nolan, Philliskirk, Daniel.
Goals: None.
Booked: McAlister 59 mins, Mellor 61 mins.
Off: Mellor 65 mins.
Attendance: 9,327 (including 1,605 visiting supporters)

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