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15 October 2016

Lawrence and Webster go close as Town edge chances but can't find the breakthrough

Town did enough to have won at Ewood Park for the first time in 20 years having had the much better chances.

Tom Lawrence twice went close against the club he spent time on last season while Adam Webster was denied by an excellent Jason Steele save in the first-half. 

Bart Bialkowski was hardly threatened in the Town goal, with Leon Best firing over late on but Blues couldn’t find the goal the play deserved.  

Town made two changes to the side that went down at home to Huddersfield before the international break, with Webster and Freddie Sears coming in for Josh Emmanuel and Kevin Bru. 

Jonny Williams was included in the 18 for the first time since joining on loan from Crystal Palace in August, the Wales international having recovered from an ankle ligament injury. 

Grant Ward had a shot beaten out by Jason Steele after Sears had robbed Ben Marshall on the edge of the Blackburn box in the game’s first opening, Martin Samuelsen responding for the home side with a right foot effort from distance that didn’t trouble Bart Bialkowski. 

Luke Chambers did well to divert the danger from Samuelsen inside the Town box, the Town skipper then going close with an angled strike that took a deflection for a corner. From the flag-kick, it was the defender who was on centre stage again, getting his head to the ball but without testing Steele.

The Rovers’ ‘keeper was tested moments later though, brilliantly turning away Webster’s close range header.

Webster’s driving run then created an excellent opening for Lawrence but he dragged his shot wide, the former Blackburn loanee then testing Steele with a snap shot from the edge of the box as Town looked the more likely to break the deadlock. 

Samuelsen carried the main threat for the home side but he could find no way past Jonas Knudsen as he weaved his way into the danger area, Sam Gallagher heading over from a fierce cross moments later.

Ben Marshall rounded off Blackburn’s best move of the first-half with a half hit shot at Bialkowski after exchanging passes with Samuelsen and then Marvin Emnes, with Danny Guthrie firing over from 25 yards to bring the first-half to an end. 

Chambers held firm to prevent Emnes getting in as the second-half got underway, the skipper repeating his defensive duties again to deny Craig Conway cutting into Town territory.

Best forced Steele into action at his near post after Chambers’ slick pass, Marshall whipping a shot wide of the post at the other end.

Best headed over at the back post from Ward’s cross, the Ward was close himself to get in on the end of Sears’ delivery as Blues pressed for the opener.

Emnes had a shot blocked, Jonathan Douglas was inches away from a Ward cross, then Chambers and Ward linked up but the skipper was denied by Tommie Hoban’s outstretched foot. 

Lawrence then had a gilt-edged chance when Best set him up but he couldn’t make it pay before Blues made a first change with Teddy Bishop on for Ward.

The substitute was immediately in the game, his darting run taking him into the Rovers’ box but he lost his footing under pressure as he prepared to test Steele.

Knudsen sent a screamer well wide, Marshall a lot closer at the other end then Williams entered the fray for the closing stages, Lawrence making way.

Best fired over as Town finished the game on the front foot but that much sought after goal remained elusive to the final whistle. 

Blackburn: Steele, Greer (Lenihan 46), Hoban, Williams, Marshall, Samuelsen (Bennett 61), Emnes, Gallagher, Guthrie, Evans (Akpan 71), Conway. Subs not used: Raya, Feeney, Stokes, Mulgrew. Booked: Gallagher.

Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers, Berra, Webster, Skuse, Douglas, Ward (Bishop 74), Lawrence (Williams 84), Sears, Best. Subs not used: Gerken, Kenlock, Emmanuel, Grant, Bru.


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