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Town 0-2 Blackburn

21 July 2012

Early goals in each half gave Championship side Blackburn Rovers a 2-0 victory over Fleetwood Town in their pre-season friendly at Accrington Stanley.

By David Mitchell

Early goals in each half gave Championship side Blackburn Rovers a 2-0 victory over Fleetwood Town in their pre-season friendly at Accrington Stanley.

Town manager, Micky Mellon, will have been satisfied that his League 2 side matched their esteemed opponents for large parts of the game. Embattled Rovers manager, Steve Kean, featured all four new summer signings in his starting eleven while, for Town, Junior Brown replaced Barry Nicholson as the only change from the side who started against Gateshead in midweek. Town saw much of the ball in the opening stages without threatening in the final third and it was Rovers who went ahead in the eighth minute following fluent build up. Bruno Ribeiro’s cross to the back post was nodded back, all too easily, by new signing Nuno Gomes into the path of Mauro Formica and the Argentinian completed the move with a left-foot strike from close range.  There was further danger for Town soon after, Lee Fowler nodding a Leon Best header off the line. Rovers threatened constantly and moved the ball adeptly around the Crown Ground pitch.  Paulo Jorge fired narrowly over Scott Davies crossbar after 20 minutes. Town’s first opportunity came just before the half hour, a Dean Howell free kick from twenty two yards passing harmlessly wide of Jake Kean’s right post.  Rovers forced three corners from the left around the half hour mark but Town came back into the game more towards the interval. A  Brown cross from the left narrowly eluded Steve Gillespie’s head and  Jon Parkin turned neatly before striking a firm drive from 25 yards inches over the bar.  Soon after, Steve Gillespie met a ball from Lee Fowler but his attempted header flew high. Scott Davies saved well from Leon Best just before the break, turning a low shot wide for a corner. Barry Nicholson replaced ex-Preston colleague Parkin at the start of the second half.  There were early chances for each side in the second period.  A Shaun Beeley cross from a tight angle on the right just needed a helping nod to put Town level while Rob Atkinson was forced to clear off the line from Best. Rovers struck early in the half, as they had done in the first.  Formica returned the compliment for Gomes, crossing from the right for the Portuguese new boy at Ewood Park to score with a shot helped in by Davies’s right hand post.  At the other end, Brown fired a weak shot in the 58th minute, failing to trouble Kean.  A Danny Rose shot from a 20 yard free kick was deflected wide for a corner. The Rovers fans behind Davies’s goal were making their feelings all too clear about manager Kean who, no doubt used to the attention, stood impassively on the touchline. In front of them, Jorge beat substitute keeper Chris Maxwell only to see another Town substitute, Kieran Charnock, clear off the line. Rovers threatened several times with Jorge prominent but Town’s defence held firm.  In midfield, former Liverpool player, Danny Murphy was constantly probing. Rose shot narrowly wide after being set up by Titchiner, the final effort of a game from which Town emerged with credit. Fleetwood Town: Davies, Beeley, Pond, Atkinson, Howell, McGuire (captain), Fowler, Brown, Gillespie, Parkin, Mangan Substitutes used:  Nicholson (for Parkin), Allen (for Gillespie), Rose (for Mangan), Maxwell (for Davies), Charnock (for Pond), Rodrigo (for Brown), Goodall (for Howell), Titchiner (for Fowler)

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