Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

  • March 05, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's dramatic surge up the Championship continues, as a stoppage time strike from Chris Eagles gave Wanderers a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.

In a game where both sides cancelled each other out, Eagles struck in the final minute to seal a fourth successive victory for Dougie Freedman's side - silencing the Rovers supporters who had booed the former Burnley midfielder's 71st minute introduction.

David Ngog did well to flick an Andy Lonergan goal-kick into the path of Eagles, who raced at the Blackburn defence, before firing his shot into the bottom corner of Jake Kean's goal via the inside of the post.

Wanderers lined up with three changes to the side that won at Barnsley on Saturday - with Lonergan, Medo Kamara and Kevin Davies taking the places of Adam Bogdan, Eagles and Craig Davies.

Darren Pratley has enjoyed a meteoric rise in form over recent months and he almost opened the scoring as early as the second minute, but his thunderbolt of a volley from just outside the area narrowly cleared the Blackburn crossbar.

Pratley was involved again shortly afterwards, as his powerful run into Rovers territory resulted in him laying the ball off to Ngog - who poked a shot just wide of the target.

Medo Kamara was given an early warning for consistent fouling by match referee Robert Madley, but Bolton continued to push forward for the opening goal. Marcos Alonso, Lee Chung-Yong and Pratley all had efforts at the Rovers goal, but Wanderers struggled to find a way past the highly-rated Kean.

Jay Spearing scored his second goal of the season at the weekend and he attempted to make it three with ten minutes of the first half remaining, but his powerful low strike provided little difficulty for the Blackburn goalkeeper.

Then, after 45 minutes of playing on the defensive, Blackburn suddenly came close to breaking the deadlock with the final attack of the half. Morten Gamst Pedersen's left-wing free-kick picked out the run of Grant Hanley, who flicked the ball over Lonergan and off the top of the Wanderers bar.

Despite a goalless first half, both managers decided to stick with the same team for the second period and Rovers began in the same fashion they ended the opening 45 minutes.

Hanley rose highest to meet a left-wing cross, only to see his looping header tipped on to the crossbar and behind by a backtracking Lonergan.

Pratley shot wide of the target just before the hour, before Alonso saw a free-kick palmed away by Kean as the game approached the midway stage of the second half.

With 20 minutes to go, Freedman opted to bring Eagles into the game at the expense of Pratley - who had enjoyed another good game in the Wanderers midfield - prompting a chorus of boos from the away supporters.

After a night of long-throws to Kevin Davies, Bolton caught the Blackburn defence napping in the 75th minute and should have taken the lead. Davies' run to the near post granted Ngog with space infront of goal. Alonso's throw picked out the former Liverpool forward, who could only succeed in volleying high over the crossbar from six yards.

The Frenchman tried to make up for his miss shortly afterwards but his shot failed to match the build-up play, as his tame effort was straight down the throat of Kean.

Lonergan was called into serious action for the first time with eight minutes remaining. Jordan Rhodes latched on to a poor backpass and took aim at the Wanderers goal, but the former Preston North End stopper made a crucial block down low to his right.

Eagles saw a deflected strike fly inches wide of the post with five minutes remaining, before Chung-Yong had a goalbound strike cleared off the line just two minutes later.

Both sides were going all out for the victory and Blackburn twice came close as the game entered stoppage time. Pedersen had seen a header well saved by Lonergan, before on-loan Wigan Athletic midfielder David Jones floated a chipped effort on to the roof of the net.

Then, in the last of three added minutes for stoppages, the Reebok Stadium erupted with joy. A flick from Ngog resulted in Eagles finding space on the edge of the Blackburn box and firing a low shot beyond Kean and into the net via the inside of the post, thus winning the game for Wanderers.

Eagles sprinted the full length of the field to enjoy his moment infront of the Rovers supporters, with the goal hopefully providing the kickstart for an upturn in form and backing from the Trotters faithful.

The win moves Bolton above Leeds United into 9th in the Championship and just five points behind sixth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, who provide the opposition at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Medo, Spearing, Pratley (Eagles 71), Chung-Yong, K Davies (C Davies 76), Ngog
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Sordell, Holden, Wheater, Odelusi
Booked: Knight
Goals: Eagles 90

Blackburn Rovers: Kean, Henley, Dann, Hanley, Marcus Olsson, Pedersen, Lowe, Jones, Stewart, Campbell (Best 80), Rhodes
Subs Not Used: Sandomierski, Orr, Givet, Gomes, Rekik, Bentley
Booked: Lowe, Hanley

Referee: Robert Madley
Attendance: 19,063

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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