Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

TOP-SCORER Jordan Rhodes’ 13th goal of the season ensured Rovers made it back-to-back Championship victories.

It was the first competitive meeting between the sides.

And what a meeting it was too at a wet and windy Huish Park.

Rovers ran the first half, playing some free-flowing football.

But due to a combination of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping, they were unable to take a lead into the interval.

That gave second-from-bottom Yeovil – for so long on the ropes – a chance.

And they duly fought back in a breathless second half in which both teams created opportunity after opportunity.

But only one was taken, quite brilliantly by the prolific Rhodes in the 59th minute of a memorable match.

The win moved Rovers within four points off the play-off places going into their home double-header with Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City.

The half-time statistics said it all – Gary Bowyer’s side enjoyed 56% possession and, more tellingly, had 11 shots, four of them on target, to the Glovers’ one.

The hosts, who came into the game on the back of four-match unbeaten run, were on the back foot from the off.

After Jason Lowe wasted a second-minute opening – seeing a tame 20-yard effort hit team-mate Rhodes and deflect into the arms of the returning Marek Stech – Chris Taylor then tried his luck five minutes later.

David Dunn – the only change to the Rovers team after scoring the crucial third goal in the 3-2 home success over Millwall one week earlier – played Taylor in down the right and his drilled cross-shot was parried clear by Stech.

The fit-again Czech goalkeeper – making his first start since August – then comfortably gathered a diving Dunn header before producing a superb stop from Tom Cairney.

Cairney’s initial corner was never cleared and when Dunn worked the ball back to him, the on-loan midfielder curled over a left-footer from the edge of the box that Stech did brilliantly to turn behind with his finger-tips.

Dunn then dragged two opportunities wide, the best of which fell to him inside the area after Lowe took a reverse pass from Ben Marshall and swung over a cross.

Lowe was then guilty of losing his footing on the soaking wet pitch when well placed in the box before Marshall curled well over when he had the time and space to do better.

The final opening of a one-sided half fell to Rhodes, who was slid in by Dunn but saw his drive turned behind by the busy Stech.

Stech’s opposite number, Simon Eastwood, wasn’t troubled in the opening period.

But all that changed after the restart as promoted Yeovil came into the game.

A Liam Davis cross caused Eastwood all sorts of problems, though he redeemed himself by inadvertently keeping out Kevin Dawson’s follow-up while lying on his back.

The Rovers goalkeeper was called into action again, palming away an Ishmael Miller attempt after the on-loan Nottingham Forest striker had outmuscled Tommy Spurr, and then tipping over a fiercely struck shot from John Lundstram.

Eastwood also had his woodwork to thank on two occasions, as Miller rattled the bar from 20 yards before a 25-yard curler from Joseph Ralls came back off the post.

Rovers also continued to create chances in an end-to-end second period.

And after Spurr had burst into box and saw his dinked shot turned behind by Stech, Rhodes notched what proved to be a deserved winner.

Dunn was the creator, building on good work from Adam Henley and playing the ball across the area for the Scotland international, who took a touch before side-footing into the top corner from 12 yards.

Dunn and his replacement Ruben Rochina went on to test Stech.

But it was the spirited Glovers who finished the stronger and they would have equalised had Eastwood not got down low to his left to save from Joel Grant.

The final scoreline would have been greater, however, had Stech not pulled off a double save from Cairney and Rhodes late on.

Yeovil: Stech, Ayling, Webster (Dawson 36), Duffy, McAllister, Edwards, Ralls, Lundstram (Upson 74), Davis (Hayter 68), Grant, Miller. Subs: Stewart, Foley, Moore, Morgan.

Booked: McAllister, Lundstram, Ayling.

Rovers: Eastwood, Henley, Dann, Hanley, Spurr, Taylor (Williamson 75), Lowe, Cairney, Marshall, Dunn (Rochina 67), Rhodes (Gestede 90). Subs: Kean, Kane, Kilgallon, Judge.

Goal: Rhodes 59.

Referee: Iain Williamson.

Attendance: 7,179 (1,074 away).


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