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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 2 Leeds United 1

Lenihan's third ever career goal helps Rovers rise into the play-

20 October 2018

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Darragh Lenihan's first goal of the season ensured Rovers made it two wins on the bounce to rise into the play-offs with a narrow but deserved win against Leeds United at Ewood Park.

Lenihan's powerful header with 20 minutes to go was enough to see Rovers rise to fifth in the Championship table and end Leeds' unbeaten record on the road.

Danny Graham had given Rovers a dream start by netting a header of his own just two minutes into the encounter against the Whites.

But the visitors equalised with the last kick of the first half through Poland international Mateusz Klich before Lenihan netted the winner in the second 45 minutes.

Tony Mowbray made four changes, as Derrick Williams, Jack Rodwell, Joe Rothwell and Kasey Palmer all dropped to the bench from the last outing at Bolton Wanderers before the international break.

Amari'i Bell, Corry Evans, Richie Smallwood and Adam Armstrong replaced the quartet in the starting XI against Marcelo Bielsa's side.

Just two minutes into the game Graham gave Rovers a perfect start as he powerfully headed into the top corner after connecting with an expert corner kick from Harrison Reed.

Leeds looked for a response and Tyler Roberts prodded an Ezgjan Alioski cross just past the post following a ball in from the left.
 
Playmaker Samu Saiz then tried his luck from range and tested David Raya before Pontus Jansson headed the resulting corner over the upright.
 
It could and should have been 2-0 soon after as Bradley Dack wriggled away from Gaetano Berardi but saw Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the way to deny him from doubling the lead.
 
Stuart Dallas slammed a shot wide after the ball broke kindly to the Northern Ireland international with 10 minutes of the half remaining as the visitors continued to search for an equaliser.
 
At the other end, the impressive Armstrong showed some excellent footwork to jink away from Berardi but bent a strike just inches over the bar.
 
But with the break creeping closer Leeds levelled. Saiz’s teasing ball into the box was knocked back across goal by Berardi and there was Klich to finish and equalise with the last kick of the half.
 
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the hosts, who would have been good value to take the lead into the break.
 
The spirits were high for the start of the second half though, and Armstrong almost capitalised on a poor Berardi header, but Peacock-Farrell was there to smother his close range effort from an acute angle.
 
Leeds were struggling to create too many clear cut chances and it was Rovers who grabbed the third goal of the game as Craig Conway's first touch just a minute after coming on saw his inswinging corner find the head of Lenihan whose header crashed into the bottom corner.
 
Klich went for goal a couple of moments later with a left footed volley which Raya kept hold of well as Bielsa threw caution to the wind.
 
Rovers weren't shutting up shop, but Raya had to be alert to deny Klich a late leveller with five minutes remaining as Mowbray's men dug in.
 
Substitute Jamie Clarke kept Raya busy in added time as Leeds got desperate in their search for a late equaliser.
 
But Rovers stood firm and earned a deserved victory through grit, determination, battling qualities and that bit of quality as well thanks to a couple of set piece routines paying dividends.
 
Rovers: Raya, Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Bell, Evans, Smallwood (Rodwell, 57), Reed (Conway, 68), Dack, Armstrong, Graham (Brereton, 61).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Williams, Rothwell, Palmer.

Goals: Graham, 2, Lenihan, 70.

Booked: Smallwood, 46, Evans, 86, Rodwell, 87.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Cooper (c), Roofe (Hernandez, 70), Alioski, Roberts, Saiz, Dallas (Clarke, 76), Jansson, Phillips, Berardi (Shackleton, 86), Klich.

Unused substitutes: Blackman, Forshaw, Pearce, Baker, Shackleton.

Booked: Roofe, 68.

Referee: Darren England.


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