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[Archived] News Article -> 2013/14 Match Report: Rovers 2 Ipswich Town 0

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Blackburn Rovers (0) 2 – 0 (0) Ipswich Town
Rhodes 64, Gestede 80
Referee: K. Stroud Attendance: 13,281
(635 Ipswich fans)

Jordan Rhodes broke the deadlock after a dour opening forty-five minutes and not only set the Rovers on the way to victory but also severely dented the play-off hopes of one of his former clubs. Like Rovers, Ipswich Town seem destined for another season of Championship football. Fortunately, for the Rovers, the blossoming partnership between Rhodes and fellow goalscorer Rudy Gestede suggests there may be brighter days ahead at Ewood Park next season.

The introduction of Gestede in place of David Dunn was the only change that Gary Bowyer made to the team which had drawn with Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night. Dunn dropped down to the bench, which also included Dickson Etuhu for only the second time in an injury-plagued season.

The Rovers made a bright start with Lee Williamson testing Dean Gerken within the first minute. However, hopes of another goal fest quickly disappeared as the game settled down into a rather drab, end-of-season affair. Ipswich looked quick and inventive in midfield but had little in the way of end product. The Rovers looked better at the back than in recent games, but the midfield struggled to provide Rhodes and Gestede with the type of service that they require.

Both sides had a string of half-chances that never quite threatened to break the deadlock. Jonathan Williams provided Daryl Murphy with a chance thanks to an intelligent cutback, but Murphy blazed his effort over the bar. Murphy then headed over after more good work by Williams.

The Rovers responded with a decent effort from Tom Cairney which Gerken saved. Gestede then fired a 25-yard drive just over the bar. The Rovers again threatened from a set-piece when a Craig Conway free-kick was met by Gestede, but sadly his flicked effort was saved by Gerken on the line.

Ipswich went straight up to the other end after Anthony Wordsworth set Murphy free. Murphy's low cross was met by Aaron Cresswell, but the left-back's shot was bravely blocked by Matt Kilgallon and Williams' follow-up attempt was well saved by Paul Robinson.

As the half drew to a close, the Rovers had a strong penalty shout when Gestede went down seemingly pushed under the close attention of Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra. However, the referee was unmoved and waved play on.

The second half started in a very similar manner to the first before Ipswich started to create one or two half-chances. The ever dangerous Williams hit the Rovers on the break, raced away but fired wide from a tight angle. Then Frank Nouble had an effort well saved by Robinson after the Ipswich wide man fired in a terrific drive from the edge of the area.

Gradually, the Rovers began to get on top and Gestede, who had given the visiting defence a torrid time, won another aerial battle to provide Conway with a chance which he blazed over the bar.

On 64 minutes the Rovers opened the scoring and once again it was Gestede who created the chance after he cushioned Grant Hanley's long ball into the path of Rhodes. The former Ipswich striker, who had been relatively quiet up to this point, took the ball on before guiding a low shot beyond the despairing dive of Gerken.

With the deadlock broken, Ipswich visibly wilted and the Rovers started to exert more and more pressure on the visiting defence. Indeed, the Rovers might well have doubled their lead after seventy-six minutes when Tommy Spurr's low cross was flicked on by Rhodes into the path of Gestede, but, on the stretch, the Benin international fired over the bar.

However, four minutes later he found the back of the net in typical style. Rhodes was fouled near the right-hand corner flag and Conway floated a tempting cross into the box and Gestede rose to head home.

With the game comfortably won, Bowyer was able to introduce Luke Varney, David Dunn and Etuhu as the Rovers continued to dominate proceedings. Varney and Cairney both had late efforts blocked as the Rovers ended their run of four consecutive draws with a well-deserved victory.

Paul Robinson made a couple of saves early on to keep Ipswich at bay and again underlined the fact that he is the undisputed number one 'keeper at Ewood.

Michael Keane gave another good performance at right-back and looks likely to retain that position for the remainder of the campaign.

Grant Hanley enjoyed a steadier game in the heart of the defence and had a hand in the opening goal for the Rovers.

Matt Kilgallon made a vital block to keep out Aaron Cresswell in the first half and gave another impressive performance in the centre of defence. He continues to look a very astute signing on the part of Bowyer.

Tommy Spurr was sound defensively and in the second half in particular got forward to support the attack.

Tom Cairney enjoyed time and space on the right and was able to drift infield to probe the Ipswich defence. He also had a couple of decent efforts on goal.

Corry Evans worked hard box-to-box and tried to get forward to support the attack. Sadly, a groin injury brought an early end to his afternoon.

Lee Williamson, after a quiet first half, was a dominant figure in midfield in the second period. He took control of the midfield as the game went on and stopped the flow of the Ipswich forward movement. Williamson does a lot of the dirty work in midfield that doesn't always catch the eye but has looked increasingly impressive in the absence of Jason Lowe.

Craig Conway again underlined what a bargain buy he has turned out to be with another cross which ended in a goal. He was a constant thorn in the side of the Ipswich defence and again impressed not only with his delivery but also his work-rate.

Rudy Gestede completely dominated the Ipswich defence with his powerful style of front running. He created the first goal with a deft touch and scored the second with a typically powerful header. Another astute signing on the part of Bowyer.

Jordan Rhodes was relatively quiet until Gestede presented him with a chance to do what he does best and finish in style. He is beginning to form a very promising partnership with Gestede which augers well for next season.

Luke Varney, David Dunn and Dickson Etuhu all arrived late in the game and had little time to make an impact on proceedings but underlined that once everyone is fit the Rovers will have a pretty strong squad going into next season.


Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson; Michael Keane, Grant Hanley, Matt Kilgallon, Tommy Spurr; Tom Cairney, Corry Evans (Luke Varney 78), Lee Williamson (Dickson Etuhu 90 + 2), Craig Conway; Rudy Gestede (David Dunn 83), Jordan Rhodes
Subs not used: Simon Eastwood (gk), Josh King, Chris Taylor, Liam Feeney
Manager: Gary Bowyer

Ipswich Town

Dean Gerken; Luke Chambers, Christophe Berra, Tommy Smith, Aaron Cresswell; Anthony Wordsworth (Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 73), Cole Skuse, Luke Hyam (Paul Green 90), Frank Nouble; Jonathan Williams (Stephen Hunt 86); Daryl Murphy
Subs not used: Scott Loach (gk), Tyrone Mings, Jay Tabb, Frazer Richardson
Manager: Mick McCarthy


Blackburn Rovers – Matt Kilgallon, Lee Williamson

Ipswich Town – Anthony Wordsworth, Luke Chambers

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