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Report : Rovers 3-1 Queens Park Rangers

Armstrong hits another double after Brereton puts Rovers ahead in an action-packed second half at Ewood Park

7 November 2020

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Adam Armstrong's third brace of the season took him back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship goalscoring charts as Rovers returned to winning ways with victory over in form Queens Park Rangers.

All the action occured in the second half, with Ben Brereton's superbly executed volley put Rovers ahead early on before giant striker Lyndon Dykes smashed home from the spot soon after.

Rovers responded well with Armstrong slotting home with 17 minutes remaining before adding his second and Rovers' third with almost the final kick of the game.

The result was certainly deserved for Tony Mowbray's men, who controlled the majority of the game on home turf.

The boss made six changes to his starting XI from the team that took to the field a few days earlier against Middlesbrough, with Thomas Kaminski, Scott Wharton, Bradley Johnson, Corry Evans, Joe Rothwell and Armstrong all returning to the side.

For Rangers, Mark Warburton made one change to the side that took to the field at Derby County in midweek; the injured Bright Osayi-Samuel dropping out and Dominic Ball coming in.

Things didn't start well for Rovers, with Mowbray being forced into an early change just five minutes in, with Evans limping off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Rovers were having a lot of control in the game, but it took until the half hour mark for the first opportunity to arise, with Wharton rising highest to power a header towards goal, with only the fingertips of Seny Dieng keeping the defender, who was making his first league start for the club since August 2016, off the scoresheet.

A moment later and Armstrong showed fine footwork to put the ball through the legs of Rob Dickie, wriggle away from the defender and curl towards goal, with Dieng once again in the right spot to tip away the strike.

The busy Dieng was called into action again a moment later, with Armstrong opting to go alone and send a drive towards goal that the 'keeper had to get in the way of.

At the other end, Tom Carroll's cross-shot was comfortable for the returning Kaminski to gather with only five minutes to go until the half time break.

Seconds of the first 45 minutes were remaining and the shots continued to fly towards Dieng's goal, with the Swiss stopper thankful that Johnson's powerful strike from the edge of the box was straight at him as the QPR goal continued to live a charmed life.

A double change saw Osman Kakay and Chris Willock enter the action for Rangers for the beginning of the second half, and those alterations nearly played a part in an opening goal.

Willock, lining up on the left-hand side, played through the dangerous Ilias Chair, and his tantalising cross was met at the back post by Kane, who clattered a shot against the post before the ball bounced away.

But at the other end the deadlock was broken in style thanks to Brereton's well executed effort that gave Dieng no chance.

A corner kick routine saw Harvey Elliott clip the ball to substitute John Buckley, and after Lenihan nodded back across goal, Brereton brilliantly cushioned a volley into the corner to put the hosts ahead.

Warburton's men responded well to going a goal down though and were awarded a penalty on the hour mark after Kaminski was adjudged to have hauled down Dickie in the box after a goalmouth scramble.

Up stepped Dykes, who sent the Rovers goalkeeper the wrong way and slam into the back of the net from the spot to level things up.

The visitors' tails were up and only a fine stop from Kaminski prevented Willock's curling effort from finding the back of the net just a moment later.

Rovers recovered from the setback though and Brereton twice went close to putting Mowbray's men back in front, but only the slightest touch from Yoann Barbet denied the 21-year-old from tapping home before Dieng was once more in his way soon after.

But Rovers weren't to be denied, with Armstrong continuing his red hot run of goals against QPR with a goal against them in the third successive meeting.

Brereton did brilliantly to get away and free Elliott, and the teenager's pass was weighted perfectly for Armstrong to run onto.

After getting in behind Dickie, who knew he couldn't take the striker down, he went one-on-one with Dieng before sliding home into the bottom corner to put the home side back in command.

Willock was proving to be a tricky man to pin down, and the loanee went for goal as the game crept into the final 15 minutes, but saw his attempt fly inches past Kaminski's left-hand post with the Belgian stranded.

There was still time late on for Armstrong to complete his brace and secure victory for Rovers, and he did just that with only seconds remaining.

Johnson was perhaps an unsung hero on the day for breaking up the majority of Rangers attacks, but he showed a real calm head to thread a lovely pass over the top of the QPR defence to set Armstrong free.

In behind the backline, he beat Dieng at the second time of asking with a cool, calm finish.

The result sends Rovers into the international break in buoyant mood, with the next encounter coming on Saturday 21st November away at Luton Town.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Wharton, Rankin-Costello, Johnson, Rothwell, Evans (Buckley, 5), Elliott (Dolan, 90), Armstrong, Brereton (Gallagher, 82).

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Davenport, Trybull, Grayson.

Goals: Brereton, 51, Armstrong, 73, 90.

Booked: Johnson, 65.

Queens Park Rangers: Dieng, Kane, Dickie, Barbet, Dykes (Bonne, 67), Chair, Ball (Kakay, 46), Cameron (c), Carroll, Hamalainen, Adomah (Willock, 46).

Unused substitutes: Kelly, Wallace, Masterson, Bettache.

Goal: Dykes pen, 61.

Booked: Kane, 9, Dickie, 23, Bonne, 90.

Referee: Tim Robinson.


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