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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 0-0 Cardiff City

It ends all square in the sunshine as Rovers and Neil Warnock's Bluebirds play out a draw

24 August 2019

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Both Rovers and Cardiff City drew for the first time this season as the encounter at a baking hot Ewood Park ended in stalemate.

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It was a game of few chances against the newly-relegated Bluebirds and Rovers would have won it in the dying stages of the game had Derrick Williams' left-footed effort had gone an inch or two to the right instead of hitting the post and bouncing away.

The positive to both the day and the week is that it's seven points from a possible nine and a third successive clean sheet for the team.

The closest the visitors came to scoring was when Leandro Bacuna clattered Christian Walton's post midway through the first half.

But overall, a point apiece will probably be seen as a fair scoreline for the two clubs, who will both be targeting a play-off finish come the end of the campaign.

Amari'i Bell and Danny Graham returned to the side, in place of the ineligible Greg Cunningham and Adam Armstrong, who drops to the bench.

Bell, on his 50th league appearance for Rovers, started for the first time since the trip to Fulham at the start of the month, with Cunningham unavailable to feature against his parent club.

The visitors from Wales named an unchanged starting XI from the team that defeated Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night.

Rovers started well, but it was Cardiff and Bacuna who had the first shot in anger, with the Curacao international crashing a strike against Walton's right-hand post after 12 minutes.

Only a goal-saving block from visiting skipper Sean Morrison stopped ex-Swansea man Danny Graham from netting against The Bluebirds after the striker was teed up by Bradley Dack just after the half hour mark as Rovers started to turn their possession into opportunities.

At the other end, Walton produced a brilliant one-handed stop to deny Lee Tomlin's 20-yard from nestling in the bottom corner, and doing enough to grab the ball at the second attempt.

The second half began slowly, with Walton being forced into a save to deny returning ex-Rover Junior Hoilett after the attacker had taken to the field as a substitute.

Joe Ralls thrashed over the bar from long range as the visitors looked to get a winner in a second half of very few chances at a baking Ewood.

Ralls went close again a moment later, with Stewart Downing's pass being cut out at one end before a Cardiff counter attack resulted in the midfielder clanging an attempt off the outside of the post.

Rovers almost won it with four minutes remaining, with Williams smashing the base of Alex Smithies' right-hand post before defensive partner Darragh Lenihan lashed over the upright from a narrow angle.

And that was to be that as Rovers finished the stronger, but couldn't nick a winner that would have completed a 100% record in a three-game week.

We move on to tackle Premier League side Sheffield United on Tuesday night, kick-off at Bramall Lane being 7.45pm.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Lenihan, Williams, Bell, Johnson, Travis, Gallagher, Dack (Rothwell, 71), Downing (Nyambe, 81), Graham (Armstrong, 71).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Smallwood, Buckley, Rankin-Costello.

Booked: Bennett, 33

Cardiff City: Smithies, Peltier, Bennett, Morrison (c), Flint, Bacuna, Ralls, Glatzel (Bogle, 60), Murphy, Tomlin (Hoilett, 57), Whyte.

Unused substitutes: Day, Vaulks, Vassell, Paterson, Nelson.

Booked: Tomlin, 55, Bogle, 72, Bennett, 85

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 13,291 (1,862 away)

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