Doncaster go down at Ewood Park
Saturday, 11th January 2014 at Ewood Park, Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
Sky Bet League Championship
Referee - Mr Jeremy Simpson
Attendance - 13,954
A fine, sunny but cold start to the match at Blackburn, where the two Rovers have not met at Ewood Park since the 1950's.
It was a warm welcome back for James Husband, Bongani Khumalo and James Coppinger after their recent injury travails.
Marc De Val also started along with Richie Wellens, newly signed up until the end of the season. Introduced into the team was former Ivory Coast international, Abdoulaye Meite, who performed along the road at Bolton a few years ago.
Doncaster defended the Darwen End, in front of their own supporters in the first half and got the game underway.
However, the home team were soon into their stride, with Marshall, on the left firing high and wide in the 4th minute. Marshall was on the run again when Wellens brought him down to himself a booking.
Another early booking followed shortly afterwards for Lowe of Blackburn, following a foul on Wellens.
The home team were having most of the possession and Cairney, on the home right, had two efforts at goal in the space of a minute, one wide and the other high over the bar from 10yards.
Then, either side of the quarter hour Rhodes was in action when he headed a cross from the home left over the bar and then back-headed a free kick over the bar from 15yards.
Rovers of Doncaster gradually got into the game and in the 28th minute Coppinger, on the right touchline, lifted the ball inside to Forrester, who shot from 25yards but put well wide of the far post.
Past the half hour and the game had evened out, with some scything tackles going in, one of which earned Husband a booking.
In the 38th minute a fierce drive from 30 yards on the home left by Marshall was tipped round the far post by Turnbull diving full length to his left.
As time ran down to the break Husband had a go from 30 yards but it lacked his usual power and was easily saved by Robinson.
Then, in the 45th minute came a shattering blow for the visitors when Rhodes, on the home left, crossed to the far post where GESTEDE headed in from a yard out.
Half Time - Blackburn Rovers 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
The first ten minutes of the second half produced general midfield play, with neither side getting anywhere.
Then, the visitors got a head of steam up and won their first corner. This was cleared but Rovers continued to press.
A long crossfield ball from Stevens on the left reached Coppinger on the right near the home penalty area but his shot was blocked for a corner.
Past the hour and a cross from the right by Coppinger was going under the bar until Robinson got to it and tipped over for a corner.
After a good fifteen minutes spell by the visitors the home team lifted the siege and went forward to win a corner.
In the 73rd minute, good combination between Wellens and Coppinger on the left gave Coppinger chance of a shot but it was blocked and cleared. A couple of minutes later and De Val had a try from 30yards but put wide.
Blackburn battled back but the Rovers tried hard to get something from the game and in added time they could so easily have got their reward.
Having gone near in the rundown to 90 minutes they won a corner in added time that brought a good header from Peterson going for the top corner at the far post but Robinson somehow got a hand to it and palmed out for another corner.
This one caused mayhem in the Blackburn penalty area before being cleared and the whistle went on a very good second half for the Rovers but unable to find a goal.
Result - Blackburn Rovers 1 (Gestede 45) Doncaster Rovers 0
Teams - Blackburn Rovers - Paul Robinson; Adam Henley, Scott Dann (c), Grant Hanley, Tommy Spurr; Lee Williamson, Jason Lowe, Tom Cairney, Ben Marshall; Rudy Gestede, Jordan Rhodes
Subs used - David Dunn for Gestede 72 mins; Chris Taylor for Cairney 77 mins; DJ Campbell for Rhodes 84 mins;
Subs not used - Matthew Kilgallon, Ruben Rochina, Josh Morris, Simon Eastwood gk
Cautions - Lowe 8 mins; Henley 60 mins;
Doncaster Rovers - Ross Turnbull; Luke McCullough, Abdoulaye Meite, Bongani Khumalo, Enda Stevens; James Coppinger, Richie Wellens (c), Mark De Val, James Husband; Harry Forrester, Chris Brown
Subs used - Alex Peterson for Husband 67 mins; Mark Duffy for Forrester 67 mins; David Cotterill for McCulloch 79 mins;
Subs not used - Dean Furman, Liam Wakefield, Kyle Bennett, Jon Maxted gk
Caution - Wellens 4 mins; Husband 36 mins; Meite 45+1 mins; Khumalo 66 mins;