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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Two goals in as many minutes see Rovers play out an entertaining draw at home to The Reds

1 October 2019

Two goals in as many minutes saw a share of the spoils at Ewood Park as Rovers played out an entertaining draw against high-flying Nottingham Forest.

Adam Armstrong's close range finish had put Rovers ahead just after the hour mark, but a superb strike from Joe Lolley saw both sides finish the game all square.

Rovers pressed for a late winner, and came closest through Joe Rothwell, who saw Brice Samba in his way to prevent a dramatic winner.

Danny Graham was the only change by Tony Mowbray, with the experienced frontman coming in for the benched Bradley Johnson.

For the visitors, Sabri Lamouchi made a couple of alterations as Michael Dawson missed out through injury and Joao Carvalho dropped to the bench. The duo were replaced in the starting XI by Yuri Ribeiro and Tobias Figueiredo.

The visitors were quickest out of the blocks, with Greg Cunningham getting a crucial deflection to divert a close range Lolley attempt around the post inside the opening minute at a chilly Ewood.

At the other end, a direct run from Armstrong led to the Rovers man darting in from the left before unleashing a strike that Forest 'keeper Samba did well to hold onto.

Armstrong was having a positive start to the game, and had a team-mate had gambled, the 22-year-old would have had an assist to his name, but his low ball in evaded everyone on the 20 minute mark.

There was plenty of good work coming from the Rovers left flank, and next it was Cunningham who was the provider. The Irishman, starting a league game for the 250th time in his career, delivered a disguised cross, but Bradley Dack saw his effort go wide of Samba's left-hand post.

Forest, who came into the encounter sitting in third place, still looked threatening on the break, and Rovers were thankful that Lewis Grabban's low attempt from the edge of the box was tame and easy for Christian Walton to hold.

It was an entertaining first half, but both sides went into the interval scoreless and with plenty to play for going into the final 45 minutes.

Just six of those second half minutes were needed to wait for the next opportunity, but Ben Watson's rasping drive from range flew over Walton's upright after Dack's clearance fell kindly for the experienced midfielder.

Walton was called into action just a few minutes later, this time to gather Grabban's volley from 15 yards after the ball looped up kindly for the visiting frontman.

Armstrong was continuing to look like the dangerman for the hosts, and it was the diminutive forward who gave Rovers the lead with 27 minutes remaining.

After being played in with a perfect pass from Dack, the number 7 saw his first attempt blocked by Joe Worrall, but it fell kindly for the attacker to beat Samba and put Rovers in command.

But that lead lasted only a minute as Lamouchi's visitors managed to level the scoring straight from the kick-off. 

The impressive Lolley picked up the ball on his favoured left foot from 20 yards and arrowed a strike beyond Walton and into the loanee's bottom left-hand corner.

The game was opening up following the goals, with substitute Carvalho's attempt easy for Walton to claim soon after the equaliser.

One of Rovers' own substitutions almost reaped rewards in the final 10 minutes, but Rothwell's delightful curler was brilliantly tipped behind by Samba, with the Congolese stopper just about doing enough to deny a Derrick Williams header from the resulting corner.

Rovers were really cranking up the pressure, with brave defending from the visitors stopping Stewart Downing and then Dominic Samuel in quick succession.

It looked as if Forest would have been happy with the point, and that was what they returned to The City Ground with as Rovers got themselves somewhat back on track after Saturday's home disappointment.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Lenihan, Williams, Cunningham, Travis, Downing, Armstrong, Dack (Holtby, 83), Gallagher (Rothwell, 59), Graham (Samuel, 83).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Johnson, Samuel, Adarabioyo, Evans.

Goal: Armstrong, 63

Booked: Lenihan, 22, Downing, 60

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Ribeiro (Adomah, 72), Worrall, Figueiredo, Robinson, Sow (Silva, 80), Watson (c), Cash, Lolley, Ameobi (Carvalho, 62), Grabban.

Unused substitutes: Muric, Bostock, Chema, Johnson.

Goal: Lolley, 65

Booked: Ameobi, 33

Referee: Stephen Martin.

Attendance: 12,521 (1,138 away).


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