Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 28, 2012 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/cc34e

Dougie Freedman's unbeaten start to life as Bolton manager was extended to six games as Wanderers ran out 2-1 winners over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Kevin Davies put the visitors ahead within two minutes, before Lee Chung-Yong doubled the lead on the hour - tapping a loose ball into an empty net, after a Chris Eagles free-kick came back off the post.

Jordan Rhodes pulled one back for Rovers inside the final ten minutes, but Bolton held on to claim just their second away win of the season.

Freedman made no less than six changes to the side that was completely outplayed at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, with Sam Ricketts, Jacob Butterfield, Keith Andrews, Jay Spearing, Lee Chung-Yong and Kevin Davies all recalled to the starting line-up.

The pre-match atmosphere from the travelling supporters set the tone on a bitterly cold night at Ewood Park, and they had reason to celebrate with little over a minute played, as Kevin Davies latched on to a through ball from Chris Eagles and beat Paul Robinson with a thumping drive into the roof of the net, giving Wanderers the lead.

The early setback seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side, with Bolton enjoying large shares of possession in defence and midfield inside the opening 15 minutes.

Spearing has just the one goal to his name this season and he came close to making it two with 17 minutes gone, but his shot from 25-yards sailed narrowly wide of the target.

Butterfield was next to try his luck and he came even closer, as his neat turn and volley resulted in the ball flashing just wide of Robinson's left-hand post.

Blackburn's first chance of the night arrived midway through the half, as Martin Olsson smashed the ball over the top of the bar from 30-yards. Mauro Formica was next to try his luck, but his header failed to trouble Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal, as he made a comfortable stop.

Wanderers fans were then treated to the Chris Eagles show, as he forced Robinson into a series of fine saves, all inside a busy ten minute spell for the Blackburn goalkeeper.

First, Eagles struck a powerful 35-yard drive towards the Rovers goal, with Robinson just managing to scramble across his goal to deny the former Burnley midfielder.

Eagles would try his luck once again on the half hour, but Robinson stuck out a hand to prevent a well taken volley from flying into the top corner.

Andrews had a glorious opportunity to open his goalscoring account for the club just moments later, but his sliced attempt ricochet off the chest of Kevin Davies and went behind for a goal-kick.

Eagles was again involved in the action as the game entered the final 10 minutes of the first half, with Robinson denying the Wanderers man on two further occasions.

First, Eagles linked up with Stephen Warnock, before bringing the former England goalkeeper into a smart stop. Shortly later, he would then exchange passes with Butterfield, before the Rovers defenders managed to scramble the ball away after Eagles had directed a shot towards goal.

In the 43rd minute, Danny Murphy came close to bringing Rovers level, but he failed to keep his shot down, after Olsson's far-post cross had found its way beyond the Wanderers defenders.

The final chance of the half fell the way of Bolton, with Zat Knight looping a header towards the Blackburn goal, only to see it land on the roof of the net, as Wanderers took their one-goal advantage into the break.

Both sides came out unchanged for the start of the second period and, aside from a slight injury to Chung-Yong, there was little to talk about until the 57th minute, as Butterfield tried an audacious chip from 25-yards, only for Robinson to scramble back and tip the ball over the crossbar.

Bolton maintained their momentum, following that attack, and doubled their advantage just after the hour to send the 3,500 travelling supporters wild.

Robinson produced a superb save to push Eagles' 30-yard free-kick on to the post, but the ball fell kindly to Chung-Yong, who followed up to prod the rebound into the empty net for his third goal of the season.

Blackburn almost hit back with an instant response, but Formica could only direct a weak header into the hands of Bogdan.

Eagles then tried his luck from the halfway line and, although he managed to get his strike on target, Robinson raced back towards his line and made a comfortable stop by clutching the ball to his chest.

Knight had come close at the end of the first half and he came even closer inside the final 15 minutes, as he volleyed a Martin Petrov corner towards goal, only to be denied by yet another fine save from Robinson.

Rhodes was presented with his first clear opportunity just moments later, but, much like Formica earlier in the game, he also sent a tame header straight at Bogdan, who was closing in on the club's first clean sheet away from home since the opening day of last season.

Hopes of gaining that clean sheet were quickly dashed, however, as Colin Kazim-Richards cut in from the left flank and crossed to Rhodes, who made no mistake in heading past the Wanderers goalkeeper to reduce the deficit.

Kazim-Richards saw a powerful volley well held by Bogdan, with five minutes to go, before a last-ditch challenge from Scott Dann denied Petrov a clear sight of goal.

Matt Mills was introduced as a stoppage time substitute as Freedman attempted to shore up the Bolton defence and, aside from a late corner that was easily claimed by Bogdan, the visitors had little cause for concern as they picked up a richly deserved three points.

The victory sees Bolton remain in 17th position in the Championship, with Ipswich Town providing the opposition when Wanderers return to action at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Henley, Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Formica, Murphy, Etuhu (Lowe 62), King (Kazim-Richards 71), Rochina (Pedersen 69), Rhodes
Subs Not Used: Kean, Givet, Marcus Olsson, Vukcevic
Booked: Rochina
Goals: Rhodes 82

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Knight, Ricketts, Warnock, Eagles (Pratley 81), Butterfield (Petrov 73), Andrews, Spearing, Chung-Yong (Mills 89), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ream, Ngog, Afobe
Booked: Spearing, Warnock
Goals: K Davies 2, Chung-Yong 61

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 18,010

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
8 Burton Albion 13 19
9 Oxford United 12 18
10 Bolton Wanderers 13 18
11 Accrington Stanley 12 16
12 Portsmouth 12 15
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