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Match Reports

REPORT: Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Barnsley

Defeated at Ewood Park as winless run continues

23 November 2019

The Reds came out on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller in coldest Lancashire this afternoon as Bradley Dack's 86th minute goal settled an enthralling contest.

With new Head Coach, Gerhard Struber making his debut in the dugout for Barnsley there was hope of a change of fortunes, but Barnsley's inability to shut out their opponents cost them once more in a match that they probably edged in terms of performance and the opportunities created. 

The Austrian made a number of changes to the side that had been beaten by Stoke City two weeks ago with returns for Sami Radlinger, Ben Williams, Mike Bähre and a first start for Patrick Schmidt, fresh from his first goal last time out against the Potters.

There were few chances in a very scrappy first quarter of the game where the Reds should probably have been ahead when on 20 minutes Cauley Woodrow - operating deeper in a dimaond system - found himself some room to shoot inside the box after nice link-up play with Jacob Brown, but the top scorer saw his firerce effort repelled by the legs of Rovers stopper Christian Walton. 

But it was the hosts who forged ahead with their first real sight of goal as they capitalised on a misplaced Mads Andersen pass out of defence, with former Reds loanee Adam Armstrong racing goalwards and as bodies came to meet him, the ball fell for Bradley Dack who fired into the empty net with Radlinger committed. 

Nothing much of note happened in the rest of the first half as both sides failed to show any real quality in what had become a real battle. 

HALF TIME: Rovers 1-0 Reds

Struber brought on Kenny Dougall and Conor Chaplin as interval changes; they replaced Schmidt and Aapo Halme. 

It was an instant impact for Chaplin as he crashed home the equaliser early in the second half having worked room with Brown inside the box. 

The Reds looked the dominant side at this stage but then a poor kick from Radlinger out of his area saw the ball land nicely for Joe Rothwell and the ex-Reds loanee tried to lob the Austrian but Radlinger scrambled back to claw away the ball from goal. 

Brown then stabbed wide from eight yards out after Sibbick's low cross found him in space from an acute angle, before the impressive Alex Mowatt curled an effort an inch wide of goal from the edge of the box after Chaplin's neat layoff. 

The home side then introduced the veteran pair of Stewart Downing and Danny Graham as they looked to get back in front, and it was just four minutes later when Blackburn did indeed go back ahead, as former England international Downing struck home a sweet effort from the edge of the box as Rovers countered the Reds. 

Williams hooked a ball off the goalline from Graham after the striker tried to set up the unmarked Dack before Chaplin was thwarted by Walton at the other end. 

With 10 minutes remaining the Reds somehow forced home a cross, with Woodrow getting the last touch from Chalin's spade-work and it was all square again with Barnsley back in the ascendance. 

A minute later and Woodrow sent a speculative effort towards goal from 30 yards out and a slight deflection saw the ball tipped onto the crossbar by Walton and Rovers could breathe again. 

Rovers then went up the other end and grabbed the winner as Dack scrambled home at the near post as the Reds failed to deal with a set play and the search for three points continues.

FULL TIME: Rovers 3-2 Reds 

Radlinger, Sibbick, Andersen, Diaby, Williams, Halme (Dougall), Mowatt, Bähre (Thomas), Woodrow, Schmidt (Chaplin), Brown.

Unused: Collins, McGeehan, Thiam, Cavaré.

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