Saturday, 19 January 2013

Blackburn Rovers 1 v Charlton Athletic 2

Another fine battling performance away from home. Our third win in Lancashire   against the B's and our third win in-a-row which has edged us very quietly into the top half of the table. Surprisingly, we find ourselves just two points behind the stuttering Lions and back to just seven from the play-offs (we can dream).

Chris Powell went with the same starting line-up and his preferred 4-5-1 formation against Michael Appleton's first Rovers eleven. The Venky family had flown in from killing chickens in their Indian homeland for the feast but will, presumably, be feeling a little hungry after their side's dismal showing. Apart from Kazim-Richards and Rochina, we heard very little from the CAFC Player commentary team (BBC London?) about any other Rovers players in the first half. We managed to keep the home fans quiet and took the lead on 26 minutes. A Chris Solly cross on the break was knocked out to Dale Stephens who chested it down and drove it back over Kean's head in the Blackburn goal from 25 yards. It crashed in off the underside of the bar and Charlton were in town. We should have scored immediately after but Jackson and Wilson missed chances after the ball ricocheted around the Rovers six yard area. 

Blackburn looked lack-lustre and we eased to the break. After half-time, Rhodes let us know he was there with an immediate effort and he followed that a minute later with a diving header that gave Hamer no chance. I was expecting the roof to cave in after that but Blackburn couldn't follow-up and the pendulum swung back towards the Addicks. On 64 minutes Yann Kermorgant out-jumped the Rovers central defence to win a ball crossed in by Bradley Pritchard after good work by Johnnie Jackson, and Kermogant thumped his header past Kean for the lead. The natives outside the Darwen End were getting restless and having been booed off at half-time were in no mood to find themselves behind again. Charlton capitalised by keeping the ball and slowing things down. Danny Murphy did his bit with an injury which required stoppage time and the match ebbed away for Rovers. They through Nuno Gomez on before the end but we countered by bringing Dorian Dervite on to stand in front of Taylor and Morrison. The locals had been flooding out long before the final boss greeted the whistle.

We get a chance next week to win our fourth successive league match for the first time this season when we get another crack at Sheffield Wednesday. We really owe them for that aberration up there last month. February's fixtures present a much stiffer challenge as we have to visit three of the top four in Palace, Hull and Leicester. However, we have a nice cushion and plenty of sides below us, so we should be able to go to them looking for more than just a point.

If only we had managed to get our game going at the Valley this season...

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