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Rovers 1 Everton 1


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After Saturday’s game against Portsmouth, Wednesday night’s game against Everton was a vast improvement, with Rovers dominating the game for long periods especially the first half, however they lost the plot by allowing Everton to come back into the game late on in the second half.

Rovers did the majority of attacking for the first half hour with Roberts being first to test Howard in the Everton goal. A fine through ball by Bentley found Roberts on the right who unfortunately drifted slightly wide before firing straight at the keeper.

The next threatening attack revolved around our other summer sticker signing Benni McCarthy. A right wing cross was headed back across the goal mouth by Pedersen to the McCarthy, who from a tight angle volleyed the ball just past the upright. Another good move resulted in Bentley having a run at goal only to see his chip to Roberts be intercepted by Yobo’s last minute tackle.

Five minutes into the second half Rovers got their just rewards when McCarthy got his first Premiership goal for Rovers. A run into the area and back pass by Bentley, let in McCarthy, who controlled the ball and curled the ball into the back of the Blackburn End goal from the edge of the 6 yards box, passed the stranded Tim Howard.

From that point Rovers lost the plot and lost their balance in my opinion with the substitution of Gallagher for Bentley, as Bentley had been tracked back to assist Emerton.

A word of praise must be given to Emerton, who in the unfamiliar role of right back, had one of his best games for Rovers. Maybe he has found his true vocation.

As Everton pressed more and more for the equaliser, Rovers dropped deeper and with the substitution of Jeffers for Roberts it left no one up front to hold up the ball, which Roberts had done successfully for most of the game.

Once again Friedel came to Rovers rescue when he made a brilliant save following a one on one confrontation with Johnson, however he was left stranded when five minutes before the end Cahill found the back of the net. A hopeful lob up field by Everton caught out Todd and Zurab, allowing McFadden to chip Friedel, who pushed the ball onto the post. Unfortunately Everton’s Australian world cup midfielder was first on the scene to tap home the rebound.

Realistically it was a reasonable result bearing in mind our below strength defence and lack of creativity in midfield, things can only get better with the return of Nelsen, Neill and Tugay

Rovers: Friedel, Reid, Todd, Khizanishvili, Gray, Emerton, Savage, Bentley (Gallagher 74), Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts (Jeffers 80).

Subs Not Used: Brown, Kuqi, Mokoena.

Booked: Pedersen, Todd, Bentley, Khizanishvili.

Goals: McCarthy 50.

Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs (Lescott 48), Naysmith, Osman, Arteta, Carsley, Kilbane (Cahill 63), Beattie (McFadden 64), Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Wright, Davies.

Booked: Osman, Arteta, Beattie.

Goals: Cahill 84.

Att: 22,015

Ref: U Rennie

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