A few weeks ago I said that we looked competitive in this league against similarly matched sides and I was concerned that we might end up drawing too many games and suffering as a result. So another draw at home in a match we were largely in control of should feel like two points lost and yet, like most of the 17,000 there, I was happy with the point.
Blackburn have a very decent side and should win more than they draw this season. I would take another point from our visit to Ewood Park now.
The disappointment of the day was that we started with only one up front as Ricardo Fuller was mysteriously absent. The official line is that he was ill. Whatever it was, we have to hope he's back for Tuesday night because he would have been the difference yesterday between one and three points. We played well enough with Wright-Phillips in the lone role and created enough to have notched a winner but an involved Fuller in a 4-4-2 would have won the game in my view.
That said, we played well against a decent side. Hamer and the back four were largely untroubled. Cort edged it from Morrison for a change and apart from being exposed for their goal, I thought Solly was as solid as usual. I am a fan of marmite and I though Lawrie Wilson had another very competent match as he settles into the side. He played particularly well in the second-half as we pushed up looking for the winner.
Credit where credit's due too in midfield. Dale Stephens looked a player yesterday although that might be because he was up against a past-it looking Danny Murphy. Hollands struggled to impress but Dixon Etuhu is an accomplished opponent. Kerkar and Green took the wide berths and both contributed. Johnnie Jackson played in the hole but was less effective although he netted our goal after missing a penalty moments earlier.
Blackburn took the lead after a quarter of hour when Etuhu beat Hamer from close range and it looked like it might be a long afternoon. However, we played on and with space in midfield, Dale Stephens was spraying balls about and we took the game to the visitors. From a free kick we were awarded what looked like a fortuitous penalty for a shove. As so often with lucky penalties, we missed it. Johnnie Jackson didn't give it enough of an angle and Paul Robinson managed to get his sack of spuds down quick enough to block it. Charlton sensed blood though and after Rovers failed to clear the ball was played back across the box and Jackson had another bite at the cherry from 15 yards and made no mistake second time. It was to be Jackson's last meaningful contribution because he limped off not long afterwards to be replaced by Bradley Pritchard who had a good second-half.
After the break and kicking towards the Covered End, we upped the ante and pegged Rovers back. Paul Robinson kept them in it with stops from Green, Cort and Wright-Phillips. We forced the pace in the last ten minutes and it got frantic in the Rovers box but they hung on and were grateful for the point.
Jordan Rhodes managed one header in the second-half that was a foot wide but was largely in the pocket of Morrison and Cort once again. There was a strange last substitution by Chris Powell with 30 seconds left. He brought on Cedric Evina? It looked like a wind-up to me but who knows?
Watford on Tuesday and we need to take three points no matter who plays or what the formation is.