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Rovers 0 Blackburn 1

24 April 2018

Rovers battled well against Blackburn, but were unable to deny the Lancashire side the victory which sealed promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship after Charlie Mulgrew’s 80th-minute header.

The Blackburn captain headed in from Bradley Dack's corner for the deciding goal in what was an entertaining clash at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The visitorshad the game’s opening chance within the opening minute, as they showed their intentions from the off.

Adam Armstrong broke down the right-hand side from the kick off, and he cut inside past Niall Mason.

He took another touch to compose himself before looking to curl into the far corner, but Andy Butler was on hand to block the first shot on goal away from danger.

The visitors were in the ascendancy following their early chance, and Danny Graham was a whisker away from breaking the dead lock.

He rounded Marko Marosi after a brilliant through ball from Armstrong, however the ball fizzed past the goal line and Rovers were able to gather and clear.

Moments later Graham would be at the heart of the game’s best chance of a goal, missing two glorious opportunities to take the lead.

Armstrong’s initial volley was palmed away by Marosi, with the ball then being blocked on the line by Mathieu Baudry, with the defender twice getting in the way of Graham’s attempts to poke the ball over the line before Marosi eventually claimed.

Mulgrew was next to try his luck as he struck a free-kick on goal from 25 yards out, however Marosi got down superbly to tip the ball away.

Rovers came forward as they looked to get a foothold in the game, and with their first real chance they came close to taking the lead.

Superb work down the right-hand side by James Coppinger saw him loop a ball into the area for the on-rushing Alfie Beestin.

The forward diverted a header on goal, only to see Blackburn stopper David Raya down to his left to tip the ball around the post for a corner.

Dack was then inches away from handing the visitors the lead as he looked to divert Armstrong’s shot into the back of the net, however his flicked header skimmed past the post, giving Rovers another real let off.

Raya was at his best once again just before the break as he got down low once more to push Ben Whiteman’s low drive away, with the midfielder’s strike looking destined for the bottom corner.

Whiteman would have Rovers’ first attempt on goal after the interval, curling a free-kick just over the bar from 25 yards out, less that 90 seconds after the restart.

Matty Blair would be next to try and test Raya, as he shot low from distance, however the Spanish stopper saw the ball all the way into his hands as the visitors tried to compose themselves after a quick start by Rovers.

Blackburn then bombarded forward in search of the opener, as the second half became a frantic encounter.

Mulgrew’s corner from the right would be met by the head of Derrick Williams, but Butler was able to stick a leg out and divert the ball onto the post and behind for another corner.

From the resulting corner, the ball was initially cleared before Dack was able slide the ball across goal, with Graham looked destined to tap into the empty net.

Graham slid in but Baudry was there just in time to nick the ball away from the striker and behind for another corner, which this time was dealt with by the Rovers defence.

After a long period of pressure however, Rovers did eventually crack, and Blackburn got the opening goal they were looking for as the game ticked into the final 10 minutes.

Dack swung another Blackburn corner into the box, and the head of skipper Mulgrew guided the ball over Marosi and into the net, sending the travelling support wild behind the goal.

Mason had Rovers final chance as he headed on goal from Whiteman’s ball in, however Raya again caught the ball as the visitors saw out the game to clinch promotion.

Rovers now travel to Oldham Athletic on Saturday as they look to bounce back from defeat on the road in Sky Bet League One.

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