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Report: Rovers 2-2 Swansea City

Bradley Johnson's strike in added time earns a share of the spoils for Rovers on home turf

29 February 2020

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Bradley Johnson emerged off the substitutes bench to earn a precious point for Rovers in the final minute against Swansea City at Ewood Park.

Johnson struck in aded time to level things up at the death after Swansea had initally turned the game around just moments either side of the half time break.

Sam Gallagher's predatory finish put Rovers ahead before Rhian Brewster equalised just a moment before half time.

Andre Ayew's spot kick turned things around for Steve Cooper's men, and when substitute Danny Graham saw his penalty saved, you may have thought it wouldn't be Rovers' day.

But in typical fashion under the boss, Rovers fought until the very end, and got rewarded for their efforts with Johnson's third of the season raising the roof.

Elliott Bennett and Dominic Samuel's inclusion in the starting XI were the only two changes for Rovers, with suspension keeping Darragh Lenihan out, whilst Johnson dropped to the bench.

And in a fairly quiet opening at a crisp Ewood, the most notable incident was Jordon Garrick's gruesome knee-high challenge on Christian Walton on nine minutes.

Replays suggested that the young Swans midfielder should have been shown a straight red card, but Peter Bankes opted for a yellow and the 21-year-old remained on the field.

In terms of the game, Rovers were bossing things, and were rewarded for their dominance with the opening goal of the contest midway through the first half.

Nyambe's low cross in was perfect for Gallagher, who got across Joe Rodon to poke beyond the advancing Freddie Woodman and into the back of the net.

However, despite rarely threatening, the Swans forced home an equaliser on the stroke of half time when Liverpool loanee Brewster took a touch before rifling low to the right of Walton and in.

That resulted in both teams going into the interval all square, with Rovers feeling the most unfortunate to now take the lead into half time.

The scoreline was turned around three minutes after the break when Tosin Adarabioyo was adjudged to have clipped Garrick in the box, which allowed Ayew to calmly stroke home from 12 yards to put the Swans ahead.

Following a double substitution that saw Danny Graham and Ben Brereton enter the action, the boss opted to change things up in a bid to get back into the game.

The hosts were handed a prime opportunity from the spot just after the hour mark after Brereton's legs tangled with Joe Rodon, but Graham could only see Woodman in his way to keep the Swans lead intact.

Graham went close to instant redemption a moment later, but his swivel and strike clipped the edge of the post after Adam Armstrong nodded back across goal.

At the other end, Swansea's Gallagher played a couple of one-twos with Brewster and Ayew before seeing a strike whistle an inch or two past Walton's left-hand post.

The same man went close again with 16 minutes remaining, but his curling attempt flew over the upright as Cooper's men went in search of a killer third goal of the day.

Armstrong tried his best to get Rovers back into the contest, but his effort lacked the necessary connection to truly test a former team-mate of his in Woodman.

Rovers had to go for broke, and Graham saw his header deflect over the upright before he fired just over from the resulting corner kick.

Continuing to probe, Johnson caught his strike well but it was always rising and just went over the upright as the time ticked away.

In the seven minutes of added time, Brereton's flick on found Gallagher, but his header fell into the grateful gloves of Woodman when it would have brought the equaliser had it gone anywhere else towards goal.

There was to be late drama though and it was Rovers who grabbed the goal that their play deserved through Johnson, whose calm effort took a deflection before finding the back of the net to earn a share of the spoils.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Nyambe, Adarabioyo, Bell, Travis (Johnson, 72), Downing, Samuel (Graham, 55), Rothwell (Brereton, 55), Gallagher, Armstrong.

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

Goals: Gallagher, 25, Johnson, 90

Booked: Travis, 46, Johnson, 78, Bell, 90

Swansea City: Woodman, Rodon, Fulton, Grimes (c), Brewster, Ayew, Bidwell, Naughton, Gallagher (Wilmot, 89), Garrick (Roberts, 69), Cabango.

Unused substitutes: Mulder, Dyer, Kalulu, Dhanda, Cullen.

Goals: Brewster, 45, Ayew pen, 48

Booked: Garrick, 9, Brewster, 45, Fulton, 65, Grimes, 72, Naughton, 81

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 13,099 (606 away).

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