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Rovers Rekindle Survival Hopes

Guest Kamy100

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Guest Kamy100

Rovers boosted their chances of survival yesterday as they beat Hull in a crucial clash at the KC Stadium.

Going into the game Rovers were under an immense amount of pressure after having lost the last three games, which included a defeat to championship side Coventry City in the FA Cup, this combined with Middlesborough's surprise win against Liverpool the previous day had increased the importance of the match.

Hull began the first half well and were able to retain the ball well but not able to create any clear cut opportunities, slowly Rovers got into the game and took the lead on 34 minutes, an innocuous through ball was spilled by the Hull goalkeeper Duke as he slid out to gather the ball, Santa Cruz was on hand to lay the ball off to Warnock how smashed the ball home to give Rovers the lead. This seemed to rock Hull and Rovers extended their lead just 2 minutes later. A long ball was flicked by Santa Cruz straight into Warnock's path, he burst into box and produced a sumptuous ball which was turned in by Andrews. Rovers were now on top and could have extended through Santa Cruz. On the stroke of half time Paul Robinson was involved in a nasty collision and had to be substituted, this gave Jason Brown a rare first team opportunity.

Hull continued to struggle during the second half and found it very difficult to create any pressure, Rovers controlled the game and indeed looked likely to extended their lead. Hull's frustration finally boiled over in the 64th minute when Marney kicked out at Pedersen and was duly sent off. However as has been Rovers want this season they made things very difficult for themselves, firstly on 70 minutes Pedersen got himself sent off for a second bookable offence and then on 79 minutes Rovers conceded a sloppy goal as they failed to deal with a short corner with the resulting cross being volleyed home by Ashbee. This set up a tense finale and Hull oh so nearly snatched a point in the last minute of injury time, the ball feel to veteran midfielder Nick Barmby who unleashed a rasping drive which was superbly turned away by Brown to secure Rovers first away win since September.

Rovers have now moved out of the relegation zone on goal difference and face to critical fixtures over the next 10 days. First up it is the visit of high flying Everton to Ewood Park on Wednesday. Rovers then face Fulham at Craven Cottage the following Wednesday, the original game was due to take place in January but was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Hull v Blackburn Rovers - Manager Comments and Match Facts:

Sam Allardyce:

"We were getting to the stage of must-win football matches, to get three points on the board.

"Today my players, the way they started, weren't really using the ball correctly, but once we got Stephen taking a very good chance, it gave us the confidence to go on.

"We defended tremendously well throughout the game, we dug it out very well."

Phil Brown:

"It is the biggest test of character of my career, in terms of a manager, and it probably is for the players.

"We have got to try to play above ourselves in the last 11 games, it is as simple as that.

"If we minimise mistakes between now and the end of the season there is a possibility we will be OK but it has to happen now."


Hull: Duke, Doyle (Fagan 67), Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Mendy, Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane (Cousin 53), Geovanni (Barmby 53), Garcia.

Subs Not Used: Myhill, Halmosi, Manucho, Gardner.

Sent Off: Marney (64).

Booked: Turner, Dawson.

Goals: Ashbee 79.

Blackburn: Robinson (Brown 46), Ooijer, Nelsen, Samba, Givet, Diouf (Mokoena 83), Grella, Andrews, Warnock, Pedersen, Roque Santa Cruz (Roberts 86).

Subs Not Used: Kerimoglu, McCarthy, Treacy, Villanueva.

Sent Off: Pedersen (70).

Booked: Warnock, Pedersen, Diouf.

Goals: Warnock 34, Andrews 37.

Att: 24,612

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

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