Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 11, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's habit of conceding late goals struck once again, as Jordan Rhodes netted in the 94th minute to give Blackburn Rovers a 1-0 win at Ewood Park.

After a disappointing opening 70 minutes, the game sprung into life with a rush of goalmouth activity inside the final quarter of the game and the contest was settled with seconds remaining as an unmarked Rhodes pounced to score past Ben Amos from close range.

Craig Davies had wasted Wanderers' best opportunity with the game goalless, firing straight at Rovers goalkeeper Jason Steele when played clean through on goal, as Neil Lennon's side slipped up in stoppage time for the fifth time in their last 10 games in all competitions.

Neil Lennon made four changes to the side that started against Reading last weekend, with the injured trio of Kevin McNaughton, David Wheater and Zach Clough all dropping out, along with Barry Bannan. Filling in for those were Josh Vela, Emile Heskey and debutants Paddy McCarthy and Giles Coke.

Wanderers started brightly under the Ewood floodlights, with Rovers goalkeeper Jason Steele forced into action early on to deny Heskey a free header as he looked to get on the end of a Liam Feeney cross.

The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock in the 9th minute, after they were awarded a free-kick just outside the Blackburn box for a foul on Heskey. Adam Le Fondre took responsibility of the ball and forced Steele into a low stop, as he pushed it behind.

Matt Mills got on the end of the resulting corner but was unable to direct his header on target, moments before Le Fondre struck straight at Steele from 30 yards.

Blackburn's first chance arrived on the quarter hour, with captain Matt Kilgallon seeing a speculative overhead kick drift behind Ben Amos' goal.

Tom Cairney was next to try his luck for the hosts, but he could only succeed in dragging his shot wide of the post, before Heskey came within inches of making contact with a Tim Ream cross that would surely have resulted in the opening goal.

Rovers were forced into making the first change of the evening when Corry Evans left the field on 32 minutes, with Lee Williamson coming on in his place. A second soon followed, with Tommy Spurr replacing Marcus Olsson, a change which happened shortly after Saidy Janko saw a cross-cum-shot flash across the Blackburn goalmouth.

Two minutes of time was added at the end of the half, during which Craig Conway shot wide and Ben Marshall headed over for Blackburn as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half, which started with Marshall bending a free-kick wide of the Bolton goal after Rhodes had been taken down by Coke.

Heskey couldn't find the necessary contact to divert Ream's cross towards goal soon after, before Vela got caught in two minds when deciding whether to cross or shoot after working himself into space down the right.

Rhodes headed wide just before the hour, before Amos was twice called into action to deny Chris Brown and Cairney as Rovers enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Changes for both sides then saw Dean Moxey and Craig Davies replace Janko and Heskey for Bolton, while Rudy Gestede came on for Brown for the hosts.

Wanderers came close to breaking the deadlock with 15 minutes left the play, as Neil Danns struck the ball towards goal from 30 yards. However, just as he was preparing to wheel away in celebration, the former Rovers midfielder was denied a goal against his former club by an outstanding full-stretch save from Steele.

Davies and Le Fondre both failed to test Steele in the minutes that followed, before the former was presented with the best chance of the game when played clean through. After racing clear of the Blackburn defence, Davies only had the goalkeeper to beat but could only succeed in shooting straight at Steele and the chance was gone.

Bolton were almost left to rue that miss within 60 seconds, but Amos came to the rescue to deny Rhodes from close range, before the Rovers forward headed wide when given another opportunity inside the final 10 minutes.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added at the end of the regulation 90, during which Wanderers conceded a corner that sparked fury from their manager on the touchline. After conceding in added time in four of their previous nine games, Lennon's anger levels would increase when Rhodes was left unmarked to prod a knockdown past Amos to secure victory for the hosts.

Coke and Vela both saw shots charged down as Bolton looked for a very late equaliser, but Rovers took the points after Wanderers' horrible habit of throwing away points deep in games continued.

Lennon's side remain 18th in the Championship table, ahead of Saturday's home game against relegation-threatened Millwall at Macron Stadium.

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Henley, Henry, Kilgallon, Olsson (Spurr 45), Marshall, Cairney, Evans (Williamson 32), Conway, Brown (Gestede 70), Rhodes
Subs Not Used: Eastwood, Taylor, Songo'o, Lenihan
Booked: Henry
Goals: Rhodes 90+4

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Vela, Mills, McCarthy, Ream, Janko (Moxey 68), Danns, Coke, Feeney, Le Fondre, Heskey (C Davies 73)
Subs Not Used: Hall, Trotter, Gudjohnsen, Lonergan, Walker
Booked: Danns, Heskey, Mills

Referee: Paul Tierney
Attendance: 15,362

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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