Date: 22nd November 2009 at 4:20pm
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Whilst, for this season, this might not be the Big Derby, local pride was at stake as Blackburn Rovers, under Assistant Manager Neil McDonald, made the 15 mile trip to the Reebok, facing a Bolton outfit languishing in the relegation spots.

A change of formation for the Blue and Whites, Roberts leading the strikeforce with Di Santo, with Blackburn playing a flat 3 in midfield, whilst Diouf and Dunn rotated in the attacking midfield role. Gamst Pedersen was not even on the bench, whilst Vinnie G made a welcome return on the substitutes bench.

The match kicked of in typical derby style. Lots of hunger shown by the lads, with not an inch given on the field. However, it was all route one to start with. Neither team wanted to give the ball away, and long was the safest way out. The first shot of the game did fall to the visitors. A headed clearance found its way out to David Dunn, left foot volley gliding a metre wide of the far post.

After a few clumsy tackles from both sides, it was Bolton’s turn to attack. A long drifted ball dropped over the outstreched leg of Gael Givet, however Kevin Davies couldnt react in time, with his scuffed shot cleared by Givet. Play was momentarily stopped as the Rovers physio checked on Nzonzi who was down in back play….

Both sets of fans were in full voice, and both went through the emotions in the matter of a minute. After another clumsy foul, Matt Taylor lined up a free kick, 30 yards from the Rovers goal. A powerfull strike was deflected, leaving Robinson stranded, however, striking the crossbar. The ball eventually found its way to Robinson, who released Di Santo down the left flank. After jinking inwards, Di santo found Roberts, who turned his man, and cut the ball to Dunn. Dunn looped his first time shot into the top right corner of the net, and the Rovers faithful went up…..Dunnnnnyyyy for Englandddd….1-0 Rovers

Gael Givet made way for Lars Jacobsen, looked to be clutching at his ribs.

What would a local derby be without a bit of push and shove. After a late tackle by Muamba on Dunn, both decided to shove their weight around and both recieved yellow cards. Well done Ref…..

Bolton did have one more chance before the break though. Another silly foul by Rovers gave Bolton a free kick down the right hand flank. The swerving left foot strike was tipped over by Robinson for a corner…..

Half Time 1-0 Rovers.

No changed were made, however the scoreboard almost changed within minutes of the restart. A mistimed clearance found an open El Hadji Diouf, 12 yards out. His sweetly struck volley was cleared off the line by a reflex header…Unlucky Diouf. Blackburn continued to threaten the Bolton goal, but the final touch just was not there.

Against the run of play, Bolton almost stole an equaliser. Jay Lloyd Samuel found himself unmarked out wide on the left flank. A perfectly timed cross found the unmarked Gardner, however Ricardo could only send his header over the net.

Blackburn though looked the more dangerous and the following 10 minutes provided chance after chance. Brett Emerton took on his man out wide, splitting the defence, and finding Dunn with a neat pass. Dunny then placed the most delicate of through balls for Franco Di Santo. After a neat first touch, only a reflex save by Jussi Jaaskaleinan prevented the Argentinian from scoring. From the following corner, Nelsens header was cleared off the line by McCann, and Nzonzi blasted over from 10 yards.

Blackburn made the second change of the night, Benni McCarthy for Franco Di Santo. Both were given a loud reception and applause from the travelling fans.

Once again, against the run of play, Bolton almost found themselves an equaliser. Blackburn could not clear from a corner, the ball landing at the feet of the dangerous Matt Taylor. His 25 yard strike was brilliantly saved by Robinson, who seemed determined to keep his second clean sheet of the season.

With 15 minutes to go, one of the most comical moments of the season ensured Rovers claimed the 3 points, and bragging rights….

A swift counter by Rovers found Emerton with the ball, just inside his own half. Searching for Roberts on the opposing flank, Emertons cross found Ricketts, who attempted to head the ball back to Jussi. To Ricketts shock, Jussi has rushed of his line to claim the ball which was outside the box. Ricketts tame header from 25 yards rolled into the back of the empty net….2-0 Rovers!!!

It was almost made 3-0 only minutes later, however, Jussi produced a brilliant finger tip save to deny Brett Emerton, after he danced his way into the box, past his marker, unleashing a curling low effort to the far post.

David Dunn made way for Vince Grella with 5 minutes to go.

A long ball over the top almost gave Rovers fans a nervous finish, Klasnic picked up the ball, rounded Robinson, but his shot was cleared of the line by Lars Jacobsen. Blackburn wanted the final say, and Roberts was denied the chance to close of the game. A neat through ball by Benni found Roberts, who was incorrectly ruled offside….

However, Rovers were not to be denied, breaking the away drought and further entrenching the club as the Kings of Lancashire!!!!

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 8
A few fantastic saves from Robbo. Only error was a mistimed leap from a Bolton corner…but lets not dwell on that…

Ryan Nelsen 7
Kept the line in shape, and kept Elmander under control.

Chris Samba 7
Nice and tight, a few important headers

Pascal Chimbonda 8
Very tight in defence, shut down the flank, and was brilliant on the counter. Looked extremely confident on the ball, and really showed us what he is capable of

Gael Givet
Picked up a knock, lets hope he is fine

Steven Nzonzi 7
Shut down Bolton in the middle of the pitch, faded in and out of the match, however, he was there when he was needed.

David Dunn 9
Another goal for the local boy, and the faithful led the chant once again. Great performance from Dunny, great passing game, worked hard in the middle of the pitch

Diouf 6
A couple of neat crosses by Diouf, but he really didnt get involved as much as he should of

Brett Emerton 9
Great game from Emo. Good to see him at his dashing best. Unlucky not to get a goal, but surely he gets an assist 😀

Franco Di Santo 8.5
The best we have seen him all season. However, he should of finished the one on one opportunity. Important stage of the match, fortunately it didnt come back to haunt us.

Jason Roberts 9
Great game from the big man. Held the ball up very well, setting up Dunn for the first. Worked hard, and didnt go to ground too easy!

Lars Jacobsen 7.5
Probably his best game of the season. Forced his man out wide, made an extremely important intervention late on in the game. Much better Lars

Benni McCarthy
A joy to watch. Always looks dangerous, you could see he really wanted a goal out there.
Good for the man to be back out there. A few nice passes

Manager Rating
Well done to Neil McDonald. The game plan was set, and carried out. Made a positive change when replacing a tired Franco with Benni. Others might of decided to shut the game down, however he felt we needed a second. Congrats!


24 Replies to “Rovers Break Away Duck”

  • Well done Sas!!! A very good report for that time in the morning! get yourself to sleep! Excellent team performance today, deserved 3 points. Could have been 6-2 in the end!!! Dunny for England!

  • definately could have mikey but they didnt take alot of their chances was dissapointed with samba and diouf apart from them a good allround peformance apart from silly fouls and mistakes. Big sam must have been reading the forum page cus he used my tactics albeit different players but its a start but one thing i realised if we play with this it opens the game for their wingers

  • Another 3 from the boys. Looks like we’re rounding into form. It’s good to see them take the points from the teams we should beat. It’s so much more satisfying to see them mid table rather than skirting the relegation zone.

  • Di Santo was good, I see? He should be a little more ruthless before goal, I think. He’s working his socks off, though. I started seeing the match from the 68th minute onwards so it was only minutes before he got substituted. 🙁 I saw the og, though. That was brilliant from Rickets. 😀

  • lol jt ive never doubted his work effort that has always been 110% but as u say he has to be ruthless in front of goal had a good chance today

  • Yep, but a win’s that all count for you folks! Good derby win. Hopefully Di Santo will pull up his scoring boots and slam a few in to remove any doubters!

  • jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see the Rovers win away!!! get in boys 😀 ps. I was on tv twice during this game 😀

  • Good solid win today – it could easily have been 0-4 – however, I thought 1st half the game was pretty poor, ball in the air etc. But second half there was only one team in it – we played some good attacking football, passed it more on the deck and should have wrapped up the points much earlier on. David Dunn was superb – however I thought a ‘9’ for Roberts and Emerton was a little generous Sas! I gotta feeling November is going to be our month – bring on Fulham!

  • Fair Call Friedel- Roberts- I think his performance tonight for once matched his work ethic. He and Di Santo, and then McCarthy worked perfectly. Roberts held the ball up, won us several free kicks in attacking territory, and was an actual physicl presence. Our long balls actually had someone to go to, i honestly dont recall Roberts losing the ball when at his feet.

    Emerton had a blinder. Worked extremely hard in defence, took on his man, the poorest thing about his game was his long ball which didnt find Roberts, rather found Ricketts who sent it into the back of the net, so no complaints there 😀

  • This could be a massive week with Fulham and Stoke coming up. Games we can get somet from. Huddersfield Yiddo, Bolton looked bad because we made them look bad! Stop being so cynical!

  • oh mate loving it, i hit a multi ( dunno whats your equivalent, but i got 7 results right, paid 64 to 1, had 10 on it…..and i had a 50 on rovers to win paying almost 4 to 1…… good result all up v bolton… for fulham 😀

  • Good report SAS, good solid performance, we finally got an away win and kept a clean sheet to boot, big sam should be smiling in his hospital bed today

  • ahh sigh i saw we were paying nearly $4 an was gonna hav a crack but didn’t get round to it… nice work mate- u can pay the airfares to ewood

  • we always pay blowout odds retro! i put 50 on us every wk, 38 times a year……for the last 5 years, and ive always ended in the plus at the end..

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