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[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 Match Report: Rovers 1 Burnley 1

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Blackburn Rovers (0) 1 – 1 (1) Burnley
Dunn 90 + 5 Shackell 32
Referee: A. D'Urso Attendance: 20,735

A ninety-fifth minute equaliser against a Burnley side that had been reduced to ten men after 65 minutes sent thousands of Rovers fans into ecstasy. The 34-year record had been kept intact and, perhaps more importantly, a precious point had been rescued in what has now turned out to be dogfight against a second successive relegation. Thoughts of a return to the Premier League are long forgotten as the Rovers now sit a perilous four points above the drop zone. On the evidence of this dire performance one suspects that there will be some desperate times ahead before the club's ultimate fate is known.

Once again the manager made changes to the team with cup-tied David Jones and Cameron Stewart being recalled, whilst Todd Kane, who re-signed on loan on Friday, was brought in at right-back. Morten Gamst Pedersen was dropped to the bench, whilst Lee Williamson returned from injury to take his place amongst the substitutes.

Surprisingly, the attendance was slightly smaller than the one at Turf Moor earlier in the season, but the atmosphere was electric as the teams took to the field.

As usual in these games the opening was a fairly uninspiring affair with both sides adopting a fairly cautious approach. The first real incident of note came after 15 minutes when Jordan Rhodes was caught in the face by the raised boot of Michael Duff. As Rhodes fell to the floor, the Rovers players and fans appealed for a penalty. However, Mr D'Urso, inexplicably, ignored the appeals and waved play on. Rhodes needed treatment but was able to resume.

Gradually, it was the visitors who began to enjoy the better possession in the final third of the pitch. Indeed, but for a superb save from Jake Kean, the visitors would have taken the lead on 19 minutes. A dummy by Ben Mee allowed Alex Kacaniklic to get around the back of the defence and when he pulled the ball back, Martin Paterson was on hand to shoot from around the penalty spot. The ball seemed destined for the net until Kean, at full stretch, managed to turn it away.

Within minutes the Rovers 'keeper was called upon to make another save from Ross Wallace as the Clarets began to step up the pressure.

Burnley enjoyed plenty of possession down the flanks and looked far more dangerous going forward than a Rovers side that simply couldn't get the ball to Rhodes or Leon Best.

On 32 minutes Burnley took a well-deserved lead when Wallace floated a free-kick into the area and Jason Shackell rose above his marker and headed the ball against the foot of the post. However, before the Rovers had chance to clear the ball Shackell was on it in a flash and fired the ball into the empty net.

Six minutes later and the Clarets almost doubled their lead when a fine effort from Wallace flew just the wrong side of the post.

On the stroke of half-time the Rovers had their first attempt on the Burnley goal, but David Dunn's shot from distance flew well over the bar.

The second half brought a change for the Rovers with Josh Morris coming on to replace Leon Best. Morris went on the left of midfield while Stewart moved from the wing to partner Rhodes in the centre.

The Rovers started the second period in a more positive mood with Rhodes off target with one effort and then Jones firing a free-kick wide.

However, Burnley settled and once again the Rovers seemed to struggle to create any clear-cut opportunities in front of goal.

The turning point came with 25 minutes remaining when Mee, who had already picked up a yellow card, was dismissed for a rash challenge on Grant Hanley. It was late, unnecessary and fully deserving of a second yellow.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche continually adjusted his team through the use of substitutes to try to make them more solid at the back. However, in many ways this more defensive approach gave the Rovers the opportunity to enjoy more possession in midfield for the first time in the match.

With the visitors dropping deeper and deeper, the Rovers began to enjoy more time and space in which to play. The pressure began to build as Martin Olsson had one effort blocked and then centred for Rhodes to head wide. In fairness, Burnley's ten men defended gallantly throwing their bodies in front of shots and ensuring that Lee Grant was well protected.

The announcement of six additional minutes brought a roar of encouragement from the Ewood faithful and groans of disbelief from the travelling fans. However, try as they might, the Rovers couldn't find a way past a staunch defence and the 34-year record seemed destined to end.

However, in the fifth minute of additional time a ball across the box from Stewart fell at the feet of David Dunn. Dunny, who had suffered tremendous abuse from the Burnley fans all afternoon, quickly controlled the ball and then squeezed his shot between the diving Grant and the near post into the back of the net. Dunny embarked on wild celebrations in front of the Burnley fans and Ewood Park erupted in a way not seen for many a year. For a true Rover to destroy Burnley's dreams of a long-awaited victory right at the death was a perfect finale to a game in which the Rovers had been second best for long periods.

Once again Jake Kean couldn't be held responsible for the goal and, yet again, he made a couple of saves in the first half which kept the Rovers in the game.

Todd Kane made a timely return at right-back and performed very well considering that he had only just signed for the club on Friday. Once or twice he allowed his man to get the better of him, but otherwise he was sound defensively and did very well in linking up with the attack.

Martin Olsson had one of his quieter games on the opposite flank and it wasn't until Burnley were reduced to ten men that he started to forage forward.

Once again Scott Dann and Grant Hanley performed well in the centre of defence despite the Rovers conceding another goal from a set-piece.

In midfield the Rovers' main threat came from David Dunn, who was operating on the right. He was the one player who seemed capable of making things happen. Cameron Stewart on the opposite flank had a disappointing first half and rarely threatened in the role of an attacking winger. He did better in the early stages of the second half when he was moved into the centre and was allowed to run at the Burnley defence. However, as yet, he has to turn in a performance which would lead one to believe that he ought to be signed on a permanent basis. He looks very lightweight and is far too easily knocked off the ball.

David Jones had a quieter game than previously and once or twice was caught in possession. However, his work-rate was good, but he was unable to influence the game as much as he might have liked. The same could be said of Jason Lowe, who worked hard but had little influence on the game in terms of creating chances for the forwards.

Leon Best and Jordan Rhodes again struggled to make any impact in attack. Admittedly, they received little in the way of service, but neither player seems to have the ability to create things for themselves. Rhodes' return of one goal from the last ten games would suggest a rethink is in order regarding the Rovers' attacking play, but at the moment it would appear that the club do not possess the personnel to make this happen.

The Rovers now sit four points above the relegation zone having gained just three points from the last 21 on offer. A similar return over the next seven games could well see League One football at Ewood Park next season. Suddenly, a season that was supposed to mark a return to the Premier League has turned into a relegation dogfight.


Blackburn Rovers

Jake Kean; Todd Kane, Scott Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson (Nuno Gomes 87); David Dunn, Jason Lowe, David Jones, Cameron Stewart; Jordan Rhodes, Leon Best (Josh Morris 46)
Subs not used: Grzegorz Sandomierski (gk), Gael Givet, Karim Rekik, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Lee Williamson
Manager: Michael Appleton


Lee Grant; Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee (sent off 65); Ross Wallace (Daniel Lafferty 70), Marvin Bartley, Chris McCann, Alex Kacaniklic; Charlie Austin (Danny Ings 85), Martin Paterson (Sam Vokes 85)
Subs not used: Brian Jensen (gk), Junior Stanislas, Brian Stock, Kevin Long
Manager: Sean Dyche


Blackburn Rovers – Grant Hanley, Scott Dann, David Dunn

Burnley – Charlie Austin, Ben Mee

Sending off

Burnley – Ben Mee (2 yellow cards)

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