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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 3-2 Barnsley

A Bradley Dack late show sees Rovers register back-to-back wins at Ewood Park

23 November 2019

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A Bradley Dack brace helped Rovers to a narrow and dramatic victory against Barnsley at Ewood Park to make it back-to-back home victories.

Dack was in the right place at the right time to prod home the winner with only four minutes of normal time remaining after the visitors had twice levelled things up in a topsy-turvy encounter.

Dack was the man who opened the scoring in the first half, only for substitute Conor Chaplin to equalise just after half time.

One of Rovers' changes in Stewart Downing put the hosts back ahead, only for Cauley Woodrow to level up again before Dack's late winner.

There were returns to the starting XI for Darragh Lenihan, Amari'i Bell and Joe Rothwell, who was up against a former side.

It was a first outing for new Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber, with the Austrian putting countryman Samuel Radlinger in goal at the expense of the benched Brad Collins.

In a chanceless opening, the most notable opportunity came through a penalty shout when Lewis Holtby was brought down in the box, but referee Dean Whitestone waved away the playmaker's appeals.

Soon after and Tykes top scorer Cauley Woodrow forced Christian Walton into a smart save down low to his right as he went in search of his seventh goal of the campaign.

A moment later and Walton reacted again to beat away another Woodrow attempt after a flowing move from Struber's side miway through the half.

But the next chance went to Rovers and it was ex-Barnsley loanee Adam Armstrong who took advantage of a Mads Andersen error to slip in Dack for a seventh of the season in the simplest of circumstances.

The tension seemed to disappear from the legs of the Rovers players, with the opportunities beginning to present themselves to the hosts following the opener, most notably through Sam Gallagher who dragged wide after some neat interplay.

Struber made a double substitution at the break, with Kenny Dougall and Chaplin coming on to replace Aapo Halme and Patrick Schmidt.

The alterations provided a response from the visitiors, with Chaplin making an immediate impact byrifling home an equaliser that flew past Walton and in just three minutes after the interval.

There was almost an immediate reaction, but Radlinger made up for an errant clearance by saving Rothwell's attempt to catch him out from range.

Walton had to make sure he kept hold of Alex Mowatt's strike from range on the hour as The Tykes grew in confidence in East Lancashire.

Mowatt went even closer just moments later, but although his curled attempt beat Walton, it also beat the left-hand post by a few inches.

Rovers weren't at the races in all honesty, but within seven minutes of entering the action Downing put the hosts back ahead.

Lewis Travis and Rothwell were involved in the move, with the ball falling to the former England international who took a touch before crashing a right-footed effort into the bottom corner.

Barnsley heads didn't drop, and Walton had to keep Chaplin out at the near post after more trickery from the former Portsmouth and Coventry City forward.

Chaplin was the dangerman, and it was his cross that was diverted home by Woodrow with just eight minutes remaining to level the scores for a second time in the game.

The visitors' tails were up and Walton again had to be alert to tip over Woodrow's dipping drive from range just a minute of two later.

It was end-to-end but it was Rovers who looked like they had won it right at the death, with Dack pouncing to prod home a rebound after his downward header was pushed back into his path.

And that was enough to earn the points and record a narrow but vital victory on home turf.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Lenihan, Adarabioyo, Bell, Travis, Holtby (Downing, 63), Dack, Rothwell (Buckley, 79), Armstrong, Gallagher (Graham, 63).

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Johnson, Brereton, Evans.

Goal: Dack, 24, 86, Downing, 70.

Booked: Gallagher, 56

Barnsley: Radlinger, Williams, Diaby, Andersen, Brown, Woodrow, Bahre (Thomas, 83), Schmidt (Chaplin, 46), Tibbick, Halme (Dougall, 46), Mowatt (c).

Substitutes: Collins, McGeehan, Cavare, Thiam.

Goal: Chaplin, 49, Woodrow, 82.

Booked: Brown, 22.

Attendance: 13,781 (1,315 away).

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