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Report: Rovers 1-1 Coventry City

Ben Brereton's second goal in as many games isn't enough against the Sky Blues

27 February 2021

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Ben Brereton's first-half strike wasn't enough as Rovers were forced to share the points with Coventry City at Ewood Park.

The forward thundered home from close range at the mid-point stage of the first-half to put Rovers in command going into the break.

But his second goal in as many games was cancelled out early in the second-half as Bacup-born Matty James levelled things for the visitors with a hooked finish.

Although Coventry were reduced to 10 men late on when Leo Ostigard was sent off, Rovers couldn't find a winner during a second-half that lacked clear cut chances for both teams.

Tony Mowbray made two changes to his starting XI against one of his former clubs; Darragh Lenihan and Brereton coming in for Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Bradley Dack, who were both placed on the bench.

Thomas Kaminski continued in goal and the Belgian was grateful for his crossbar after Sam McCallum's intended cross was mis-hit, clip the upright and drift out of play inside the opening minute.

McCallum fired wide before Jordan Shipley - one of three changes for City - smashed over Kaminski's upright in the first 12 minutes at Ewood Park.

Rovers were growing into the game and found the breakthrough just before the half hour mark when Brereton thumped home from 12 yards out.

A lovely pass from Joe Rothwell found the scampering Ryan Nyambe, and his pull back missed Adam Armstrong but found Brereton, who thumped home first time past Ben Wilson.

Barry Douglas almost made it 2-0 with moments of the half remaining, but his tantalising free kick cracked Wilson's right hand post before being hacked clear.

The solitary goal ensured Rovers went in with the advantage, but it took just five minutes of the second half for the visitors to level things up.

A deep cross from McCallum wasn't dealt with, the ball broke kindly for James, and he hooked home from close range to make it 1-1.

The goal rocked Rovers and gave Mark Robins' men a lift, and it took until the 75 minute mark for the next opportunity to arrive, with Jarrad Branthwaite heading wide of the target.

Drama came soon after when Ostigard was shown a second yellow card after tangling with Armstrong as the visitors played out the final seven minutes of the game against 10 men.

However, Rovers created little aside from a header from Armstrong as the game petered out into a draw, which was probably the fairest result on the balance of play.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Branthwaite, Douglas, Travis (Trybull, 62), Evans (Dack, 75), Rothwell (Dolan, 87), Elliott, Brereton, Armstrong.

Unused substitutes: Pears, Downing, Bell, Buckley, Harwood-Bellis, Bennett.

Goal: Brereton, 27.

Booked: Douglas, 61.

Coventry City: Wilson, Ostigard, McFadzean, Hyam, Dabo (Pask, 70), Shipley (O'Hare, 70), Kelly (c), McCallum, James (Hamer, 70), Walker (Gyokeres, 78), Biamou.

Unused substitutes: Marosi, Allen, Sheaf, Bakayoko.

Goal: James, 50.

Booked: Ostigard, 69, 83.

Sent-off: Ostigard, 83.

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