Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Match Report : 14/01/2017

14 January 2017

Lawrence scores twice and Berra grabs the other as Town take the points at Portman Road

The Tom Lawrence show continued at Portman Road as the Wales international inspired Town to a thrilling win.

The 23-year-old, on loan from Leicester until the end of the season, was a box of tricks all game and continued his personal goal of the season contest with a brilliant 30 yarder to put Blues 3-1 up just before the hour.

It was Lawrence who gave Town the lead before half-time with a free-kick but Rovers went in at the break level through Hope Akpan’s equaliser.

Christophe Berra put Town back in front on 53 minutes and then Lawrence took his tally to five goals in three games with a screamer from distance.

Freddie Sears was close to adding a fourth but it was Rovers who found the net again from a Danny Graham penalty on 73 minutes to set up an anxious closing stages but Town held on for a first win of 2017. 

Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse returned to the side after missing last week’s draw against Lincoln in the FA Cup through injury. 

Lawrence was handed a free role behind Sears and the two combined early on, with Sears stabbing a shot wide, then Jonas Knudsen - playing as a wing-back - fizzed a shot two feet past the post. 

Sears was denied by Jason Steele as Blues continued to press for an early opener, then Bart Bialkowski repeated the feat at the other end with an excellent save from Sam Gallagher after former Town loanee Liam Feeney set him up. 

Blues’ keeper was in action again moments later to tip over Gallagher’s header in an open start to the game. 

Lawrence, full of confidence, weaved his way past three Rovers defenders but his pass was just astray of Josh Emmanuel supporting down the right. 

Elliott Bennett sent a 25 yarder over the bar as Blackburn continued to carry a threat, at the other end Sears was crowded out inside the box. 

Andre Dozzell then showed a good touch to find Sears, the former West Ham frontman forcing Steele into a save at his near post.

Seven minutes before the break, Knudsen was tripped on the edge of the box to win Town a free-kick and Lawrence made Rovers pay with a low strike under the wall and into the bottom corner, meaning he had scored Blues’ last four goals.

Dozzell and Kevin Bru linked up well on the edge of the Rovers box but Charlie Mulgrew cleared the danger and seconds later the ball was in Town’s net, Berra’s clearance was picked up by the visitors and from Graham’s knock back, Akpan passed the ball into the net.

Steele needed to show a strong right arm to divert Lawrence’s right footer, then Knudsen sent a bullet goalwards that would have found the net if it hadn’t been straight at the ‘keeper as the teams went in level at the break.

Lawrence tried his luck from the edge of the box as the second-half got underway, Steele equal to the task, Rovers responding with Mulgrew high and wide from distance. 

Steele claimed Knudsen’s cross, the Danish international then forcing a corner and from the flagkick, Town went ahead, Berra sliding the ball in from close range. 

Lawrence had Portman Road on its feet on 57 minutes, the former Manchester United winger smashing in a 30 yarder to put daylight between the teams - and probably another zero on his price tag.

Rovers made a first change with Marvin Emnes on for Bennett on the hour, then Dozzell made way for Grant Ward soon after. 

Sears was denied by Steele after Skuse unselfishly set him up 10 yards out on  the angle but on 73 minutes Blackburn were handed a lifeline when Adam Webster was judged to have fouled Akpan in the box and Graham scored from the spot. 

Webster cleared from Graham as Rovers searched for an equaliser, Sears then firing a superb ball across goal that was cleared at full stretch by Derrick Williams. 

Paul Digby replaced Bru to shore things up for Town and it was fitting that another superb run by Lawrence took the game deep into Rovers territory before he was pulled to the ground, the new hero of the Blue Army even getting a great ovation when he thumped the resultant free-kick miles wide!

Blues did have one last scare when Emmanuel tussled with Williams but referee James Linington waved away Blackburn appeals for a penalty and blew his whistle seconds later.

Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Knudsen, Chambers, Berra, Webster, Bru (Digby 89), Skuse, Dozzell (Ward 66), Lawrence, Sears. Subs not used: Gerken, Webber, Douglas, Morris, Best. Booked: Lawrence, Dozzell.

Blackburn: Steele, Williams, Lowe, Feeney, Marshall, Graham, Mulgrew, Gallagher, Akpan, Lenihan, Bennett (60). Subs not used: Raya, Greer, Nyambe, Tomlinson, Mahoney, Brown.
Att: 15,009

Advertisement block