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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 1-0 Brentford

An early Bradley Dack strike proves to be the difference on Lancashire Day

27 November 2019

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Bradley Dack's ninth goal of the season was enough to record a third successive home victory with an excellent win over in form Brentford.

Dack struck after only 11 minutes to finish off a flowing team move and that was enough to propel Rovers up the table.

It was fairly comfortable on the night, with the hosts largely bossing the game and earning the points, fittingly, on Lancashire Day.

The closest Brentford came was when Said Benrahma cracked the crossbar with a free kick early in the second half, but we were deserved winners in the Ewood Park drizzle.

Ryan Nyambe, Stewart Downing, Corry Evans and Danny Graham all returned to the team, with Elliott Bennett, Amari'i Bell, Lewis Holtby and Sam Gallagher all dropping out.

The former three all are included on the bench, but Gallagher missed out of the squad after picking up an injury in the weekend win over Barnsley.

Rovers Academy graduate David Raya - who appeared on 108 occasions for the first team - started for the visitors, who made two changes on the night; Christian Norgaard and Jan Zumbarek coming into the XI at the expense of the benched Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva.

Rovers started brightly in the drizzle and took the lead through Dack's third goal in his last two games, finishing off a lovely team move.

It all started in Rovers' own half, with Adam Armstrong finding Joe Rothwell, who in turn fed rampant left back Downing, whose ball was perfect for Dack to calmly slide through Raya's legs and into the back of the net from close range.

The Bees almost responded straight away, with a teasing free kick from Mathias Jensen finding fellow Dan Henrik Dalsgaard sneaking in at the back post, but the advanced full back could only prod wide on the stretch.

Rovers went in search of a second midway through the half, with only good defending from Ethan Pinnock denying Dack from pulling the trigger in the box after being slipped in by Armstrong.

Back at the other end, a disguised dink from Jensen found Zumbarek, but the Czech teenager poked wide of Christian Walton's left-hand post and the chance went.

Graham missed a great chance with six minutes of the half remaining, with Downing finding the frontman from another excellent free kick, but the 34-year-old nodded over Raya's upright from six yards out.

Despite that, Rovers did take the slender advantage in with them at the break, and it was richly deserved after a highly impressive first half performance from the team against an in form Bees side.

Thomas Frank's side nearly forced an equaliser just four minutes after the interval, but Benrahma's curling free kick crashed off the upright before Nyambe cleared the danger on the rebound.

Evans was having a particularly good game, and he was in the right place at the right time to hack a Pontus Jansson header off the line after the visiting skipper beat Tosin Adarabioyo in the air.

At the other end, Raya produced a fine stop to beat Armstrong's well struck effort into the air before clutching the rebound as the game opened up on the hour mark.

Confusion at the back between captain Darragh Lenihan and Nyambe let in Ollie Watkins, but his effort was blocked, Benrahma could only slice an effort high and wide from just outside the box.

A brave block from Pinnock stopped a curling Rothwell effort from testing Raya as Rovers went in search of a second goal of the night with time ticking on.

Norgaard went close to levelling from range with a strike that curled an inch or two past Walton's right-hand post as The Bees upped the gears with 20 minutes of the contest remaining.

A moment later and Rothwell missed a terrific opportunity when one-on-one with Raya before the Spaniard was called upon again soon after to tip over Armstrong's drive in a frantic few minutes.

Chances were arriving for both teams, with substitute Bryan Mbeumo next to try his luck, but curled wide before Nyambe was replaced by Bennett due to injury.

Mads Roerslev almost made an immediate impact just a moment after entering the game, but Walton did well to bravely hold the left back's drive at goal after another fine pick out from Jensen.

Rovers managed to see the game out comfortably in the end and now head to Stoke on Saturday full of confidence following two wins in a week - so far.

Rovers: Walton, Nyambe (Bennett, 78), Lenihan (c), Adarabioyo, Downing, Evans, Travis, Rothwell, Dack, Armstrong (Holtby, 83), Graham (Brereton, 87).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Johnson, Bell, Buckley.

Goal: Dack, 11.

Booked: Dack 44, Evans 79.

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson (c), Pinnock, Henry (Roerslev, 80), Jensen, Mokotjo (Dasilva, 60), Norgaard, Benrahma, Watkins, Zamburek (Mbeumo, 60).

Unused substitutes: Daniels, Thompson, Sorensen, Oksanen.

Booked: Roerslev 90+1.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

Attendance: 11,401 (270 away).

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