Well it was definitly a case of two points dropped at the Riverside as Rovers couldn’t turn their dominance into goals.
Team wise, Rovers started with the same XI that started against Bolton with one change – Santa Cruz up front in place of the unlucky Jason Roberts.
Both sides struggled to get out of the blocks in the first half and chances were certainly in short supply.
Rovers love playing in the North East and it showed on the whole as they dominated in the second half and the superior strength in midfield and belief in themselves helped Rovers take control.
In the first half, Vince Grella had a decent effort that if on target would of been the opener and Keith Andrews had a go from distance but the impressive Brad Jones in the Boro goal stood tall.
The Boro goalkeeper to be fair – was actually their best player. Numerous times he kept the away side in check.
After only five minutes Blackburn’s Andre Ooijer was booked for a clumsy and needless foul after bringing down the dangerous Adam Johnson.
Neither side created much at all in the first half, Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson in particular having an easy time. Defences were on top and there was little for the crowd to get over excited about.
Keith Andrews was forced off just prior to half time with an injury and the always popular Tugay took his place.
Chris Riggott cleared off the goal-line from Roque Santa Cruz when through on goal, but the Rovers striker was mysteriously adjudged to have handled – which at best looked dubious.
In the second half Rovers took control and various efforts from Benni McCarthy, Roque Santa Cruz and Tugay were kept out.
However, the main chances were in the last ten minutes of the game. David Dunn, on as a substitute slalomed past 3 Boro playuers and had his effort blocked by Jones.
Jason Roberts then had a decent shout for a penalty turned down before having a header superbly saved by Jones with the last action of the game.
Overall though, Rovers can be pleased with the performance but the result of the afternoon should of been three points and not one.
Robinson – 6
He was playing? Certainly didn’t seem like it as he was a mere spectator.
Ooijer – 5
Looks a bit uncomfortable at right back and gave away a silly foul after only 5 mins. He was steady but surely Brett at right back is the better option? Had a tough game against the lively Johnson.
Nelsen – 7
A massive presence and a key reason for the clean sheet. Commanding and a leader.
Samba – 7
Steady as she goes, didn’t do much wrong and won everything aerially.
Warnock – 7
A better all round game than against Bolton. Didn’t do as much attacking as Wednesday but did his job properly at the back.
Emerton – 6
Used his pace well but I am still convinced that he would be better at right back. Made some good runs but should of been through on goal when he miscontrolled.
Andrews – 6
Looked set for another solid game before injury cruelly intervened.
Grella – 7
Yes Sas, I am now sold. I like him. Very strong and held everyone together in midfield. A general and a certain starter for me now when fit.
Gamst Pedersen – 6
Committed most fouls in the game – when has that ever happened?! Put in a steady shift but should be looking to do more with his set pieces.
Santa Cruz – 8
A good game and he took control of proceedings. Tried moving the centre backs of Boro about and created space.
McCarthy – 7
Another good, work man like performance from the rejuvenated South African. Unlucky not to score but our man is back to his best.
Tugay – 7
Another example of why he is a legend. Looks good next to the less refined Grella and really strokes it around like no other. Looked tired towards the end.
Roberts – 7
A great statement when he came on. Was deeply unfortunate not to start and he was out to prove a point. How he didn’t score God only knows. Sam has a nice headache in the striker department.
Please for the love of sweet Jesus stay fit. Was a bundle of energy when he came on and ran his proverbials off. Went on a magnificent sloping run with the ball and drove the team on. Very promising.
More great substitutes and was not at fault for the fact Rovers didn’t win. Made the right changes at the right time but the chances need to go in.
– Boro’s attacking threat was nullified well and Robinson had basically nothing to do.
– Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba look awesome at the moment.
– David Dunn is awesome when he has a run of games.
– Roque Santa Cruz did not play like he wants out.
– Vince Grella looks like he is worth £4 million now.
– Too many missed chances.
– Andre Ooijer will struggle at right back against the top teams.
– Keith Andrews injury. Keith has been a great squad player the last few months and deserves more recognition than he gets.
– Some of these draws will need to become wins soon otherwise we will lose ground.