Sky Bet League One promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers were narrowly beaten by Czech giants Sparta Prague in a pre-season friendly match in Austria on Friday.

A second half strike by Austrian striker Marc Janko was all that could separate the top flight Czech outfit and third tier Rovers.

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray gave a number of key first team players over an hour of game time in Austria as his side builds up their fitness ahead of the new campaign.

The first half saw little goalmouth action with Rovers struggling to carve out any real chances but the second half was a brighter affair with both sides playing more attacking football.

The decisive moment in the match came just five minutes after the half-time interval when Sparta Prague striker Janko nudged the ball into the net from close range. David Lafata saw an effort blocked by Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan soon after while substitute Danny Graham spurned a great chance to score at the other end.

Lenihan and Graham both missed further good opportunities to level late on but it was the Czech outfit who won the match courtesy of a narrow 1-0 scoreline.

Blackburn Rovers are back in action on Tuesday evening when they travel to National League North outfit York City.

About Author

I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook