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Another Shattering Blow


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Rovers 1 Portsmouth 2

Tugay (37), Shermgham (17), Yakubu (82)

Portsmouth came to Ewood Park today, proud home of Blackburn Rovers, the ground Jack built, where we follow the team we support, the club we love, and stole away with three vital points.

Another free kick, another poor defensive wall and questionable positioning by Friedel showed Sheringham and the whole ground where to place his shot. He duly struck a good right-footer through the wall and just inside Friedel’s left-hand post to give Pompey the lead after 17 minutes.

Portsmouth had started the brighter of the two sides and might have taken an earlier lead when Taylor beat Friedel in the 12th minute only for Craig Short to clear his effort off the line.

Rovers struggled to create opportunities despite Tugay and Flitcroft working hard in midfield to open up the Portsmouth defence. When the equalizer came it was from Tugay’s shot following an Emerton corner from the right. Emerton pulled the ball back to Tugay whose shot from outside the area hit one Blackburn player and at least two visiting defenders before going in the net!! Perhaps our luck had turned at last, 37 minutes gone and back at 1-1.

For the second half Portsmouth settled back to defend deeply but Rovers, enjoying plenty of possession, where unable to create any real opportunities. Flitcroft went close with a header following an Emerton cross and Andy Cole’s glaring miss of an open goal from three yards after the visitors had gone ahead in the 82nd minute, being the only chances of note in the 45 minutes. With the match still at 1-1 LuaLua went on a left sided run from the half way line. Just out side the Rovers area, surrounded by three Rovers defenders, he was tackled by Lucas Neil. The ball squirmed free to Yakubu who placed a good right-foot shot past the advancing Friedel.

At the final whistle Rovers looked shattered, the team was booed off the pitch. Fans left the ground in stunned silence wondering where the club goes now? We have to stand firm, these players must find the desire to win, fans must stand shoulder to shoulder with the team. The time for recriminations will come later but now all that matters is Blackburn Rovers survival. This proud club will fight every inch to avoid the drop, we, the fans, must believe, until the final whistle in the final game, we can stay up. The team needs our support now more than it has for many years. It’s easy in the good times, tonight we stand 100% behind our club and support the players come what may.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Short, Gray (Gallagher 83), Emerton, Flitcroft, Tugay, Andresen (Yorke 71), Cole, Stead (Reid 78). Subs not used: Amoruso, Enckelman.

Portsmouth: Hislop, Pasanen, Primus, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Stone, Smertin, Faye, Taylor (Hughes 88), Sheringham (LuaLua 71), Yakubu. Subs not used: Mornar, Berkovic, Wapenaar.

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