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Rovers 2 Chelsea 3.


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If it wasn’t for the continued team changes, writing Rovers match reports these days could be done by cutting and pasting previous reports.

Another cold and damp day at Ewood Park, a couple of pre match drinks and the obligatory meat and potato pie, whilst  watching the pre match entertainment on Rovervision. Highlights of the Manchester City game and interviews with the manager and his new signing Micheal Gray being the main contents. The team is announced and once again there are changes, Todd returns in place of Johanssen and Gray replaces the suspended Gresko. Douglas retains his place on the left and Yorke partners Cole up front.

With the exception of those still at the bar, the game kicks off, with Rovers attacking the Darwen End. Douglas makes the Chelsea keeper save at the foot of his post and within three minutes of the kick off Rovers are in the lead.

A long cross field pass by Gray from the left is headed back into the box by Cole, and Flitcroft makes no mistake in volleying the ball in to the back of the net. The Rovers fans rise in unison and the chants of ROVERS, ROVERS, vibrate around the ground. The first 15-20 minutes and the Rovers are in command, but the optimism of the Ewood faithfull is short lived as Lampard hits an equaliser for Chelsea: and within another 10 minutes a poor pass by Tugay is intercepted by Chelsea to allow Lampard to get his second.

As in previous games this season, schoolboy errors have resulted in the opposition team taking the lead and the supporters head down to the concourse to watch half time edited highlights, whilst those at home listen to the experts discuss the pros and cons of the first half on satellite coverage.

It’s started raining as Ken Beamish does his usual half time draw, and Rovervision announce the seat numbers that have won match day prizes from the clubs sponsors.

Back in our seats we discuss the first half highlights and wonder whether our strikers have ever read the off side laws, the refs assistant with the yellow flag couldn’t have been wrong all the time could he

The second half kicks off and Chelsea take command of midfield, in fact they take command of the game with Brad Friedel making a world class save to prevent Lampard getting a hat trick and the referees parenthood is brought into question when he agrees with his assistant in disallowing substitute  Gallaghers goal. I must admit from where I stood I could see nothing wrong with the goal, and besides according to the Blackburn end the officials were being sponsored by the Russians.  

With three minutes to go to the final whistle Rovers got their equaliser when Gallagher ghosted in from the right hand side to score his first league goal at Ewood Park. Once again the chants rang out around Ewood, Souey’s blue and white army; followed by For ever and ever we’ll follow the …… then disaster stuck. Rovers failed to clear a Chelsea corner, Johnson collected the ball on the edge of the Rovers penalty area, the Rovers defenders jumped up and down like some constipated  ballet dancers and the ball was in the back of the net.

As we trailed out of Ewood we watched the big screen to see confirmation that the ref had been right to disallow Gally’s goal for offside and wondered when we would get our next points. Maybe next Saturday at Middlesborough.

Link to what the fans have to say Starts on page 15.

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