Jump to content


SINCE 1996
Proudly partnered with TheTerraceStore.com

[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 Match Report: Rovers 2 Bristol City 0

Recommended Posts

Blackburn Rovers (1) 2 – 0 (0) Bristol City
Rhodes 28, 65
Referee: M. Haywood Attendance: 13,539

Workmanlike, solid — perhaps even dour — may not be adjectives to set the pulse racing, but what a refreshing change to be able to use those words to describe a Blackburn Rovers outfit this season. With Shebby's Iberian experiment well and truly consigned to the dustbin, it was pleasing to see Michael Appleton restore a few traditional values which involved the rolling up of sleeves and grinding out a win. It may not be the stuff that had the purists drooling at the tricks and flicks of the departed "Fancy Dans", but it certainly sent the overwhelming majority of Rovers fans home happy.

Appleton restored Bradley Orr to the right-back spot following his return from his loan spell at Ipswich Town. This allowed Jason Lowe to return to midfield and enabled Morten Gamst Pedersen to move from a central role to the right wing in place of the injured Joshua King.

A month ago the Rovers had snatched the lead within seven minutes when City last travelled to Ewood Park for the FA Cup 3rd Round tie. However, there was to be no such early breakthrough on this occasion as the opening period proved to be a fairly cagey affair.

There was an early exchange of free-kicks which might well have brought an opening goal. Steven Davies struck a powerful effort from thirty yards which just brushed the top of the net, whilst Pedersen clipped the woodwork with his own left-foot drive.

The Rovers enjoyed plenty of possession during a fairly scrappy opening without ever really looking like causing the visiting defence too many problems. However, Paul Anderson was to get past Scott Dann, but he was unable to provide the clinical finish that was required to put the visitors in front.

On 28 minutes Jordan Rhodes demonstrated the art of clinical finishing when he conjured up a goal out of very little. A cross from Pedersen found its way to Rhodes and the Scottish international took one touch to take the ball away from the defenders before rifling a shot which flew across Tom Heaton and into the far corner of the net.

Once they had taken the lead, the Rovers rarely looked like surrendering their advantage. Dann and Grant Hanley were steadfast in the centre of defence, whilst Lowe and Danny Murphy worked hard at denying the opposition space in midfield.

As half-time approached, however, the visitors produced the best move of the half involving some intricate passing to present Steven Davies with a decent chance from the edge of the box. He struck the ball cleanly and Jake Kean was somewhat relieved to see it hit the outside of the post before going out of play.

The visitors had the first chance of the second half, but Marvin Elliott's header from an Anderson centre went straight into the grateful arms of Kean.

There then followed a rather unsavoury moment which resulted in Elliott requiring lengthy treatment after a clash with Colin Kazim-Richards inside the centre-circle. The visitors seemed to imply that Kazim-Richards had stamped on Elliott, but the Turkish international appeared to be making a genuine effort to get the ball. Peace prevailed and Sean O'Driscoll then looked to increase his attacking options with the introduction of former Rover Jon Stead. However, within seconds of Stead stepping onto the pitch the Rovers increased their lead thanks to another piece of clinical finishing by Rhodes.

A long ball from Murphy was played up to Rhodes, who held off a challenge from James Wilson before slotting an inch-perfect shot between Tom Heaton and the post. Gerald Jackson immediately announced to the crowd that this was the 100th goal of Rhodes' career, but later the player disputed this on Radio Rovers stating that he had reached the century mark a couple of games ago! The debate, it would appear, would revolve around a couple of goals that he scored for Huddersfield Town in the end-of-season play-offs. Are they counted as league goals or not? Some statistical organisations count them; others do not. A case of "you pays your money and takes your choice".

The game as a contest was over at this point as the visitors looked totally dejected and offered little in the way of threat to the Rovers. The Rovers looked increasingly comfortable as they knocked the ball about with Rhodes and Kazim-Richards enjoying more and more of the ball. With five minutes remaining, Appleton opted to give Todd Kane a run on the right midfield with Pedersen switching to the left to replace the withdrawn Markus Olsson.

The win put the Rovers in thirteenth place within seven points of sixth-placed Middlesbrough but still a massive eleven points behind Crystal Palace in fifth place. With seventeen games remaining there is now little or no margin for error if the Rovers wish to remain in the hunt for the play-offs, but the reality is that they have probably left themselves too much to do. However, Appleton appears to have a long-term plan and hopefully the owners will give him the time — be it a year or two — to rebuild the club.

Jake Kean had little to do today but again looked confident in his handling.

Bradley Orr partnered Martin Olsson at full-back and both got forward well. Orr's distribution was questionable at times, but Olsson appeared more focused now that the transfer window has closed. In the centre of defence the pairing of Scott Dann and Grant Hanley continues to blossom, although both are prone to elementary errors on occasions. There was one incident when Dann completely misjudged the bounce of the ball and was embarrassed as it sailed over his head, but fortunately the visitors could make nothing of it. However, for the most part they kept the Bristol attack well under control.

For me, Morten Gamst Pedersen was the pick of the four-man midfield even though he was playing on the right. His free-kicks and corners were a threat and his crosses into the Bristol penalty area caused them untold problems. Whilst some of his passes might have gone astray, he again displayed the type of work-rate which has clearly impressed Appleton.

Jason Lowe and Danny Murphy worked hard in the centre of the field to deny Bristol the time and space required to set up threatening attacks. However, neither player looked impressive in terms of passing and Murphy, in particular, gave the ball away on numerous occasions as he found himself harried by the opposition.

Markus Olsson again linked up well with his brother on the left and again demonstrated his turn of speed. However, for all his possession there was little in the way of end product.

In attack Jordan Rhodes and Colin Kazim-Richards again demonstrated that they are developing a good understanding between them. Kazim-Richards, who was unplayable last week, had a quieter game today, but his ability to unsettle the opposition should not be underestimated as this creates the space for Rhodes to operate in around the penalty area.

Rhodes again showed what a clinical marksman he is and again he was asked to do more in terms of hold-up play as Appleton looks to develop other facets to his game.

This was a quietly impressive performance in front of an attendance of 13,539 fans who, surprisingly, didn't need to be told to "back the badge" because they were there to "back their club". It may be early days in Appleton's stewardship but the signs are very encouraging.


Blackburn Rovers

Jake Kean; Bradley Orr, Scott Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson; Morten Gamst Pedersen, Jason Lowe, Danny Murphy, Markus Olsson (Todd Kane 89); Colin Kazim-Richards, Jordan Rhodes
Subs not used: Sebastian Usai (gk), Gael Givet, Fabio Nunes, Nuno Gomes, Josh Morris, David Goodwillie
Manager: Michael Appleton

Bristol City

Tom Heaton; Brendan Moloney, Liam Fontaine, Louis Carey (James Wilson 44), Greg Cunningham; Paul Anderson (Wes Burns 83), Marvin Elliott, Liam Kelly, Stephen Pearson; Steven Davies (Jon Stead 65), Sam Baldock
Subs not used: Dean Gerken (gk), Richard Foster, Lewin Nyatanga, Bobby Reid
Manager: Sean O'Driscoll


Blackburn Rovers – Colin Kazim-Richards

Bristol City – None

Join in the discussion on the forum here.

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.