Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 23 Aug 14 at 17:00 PM

Blackburn Rovers 3-2 AFC Bournemouth

The Cherries endured a fruitless trip to Ewood Park, where Blackburn Rovers staved off late pressure from Eddie Howe's men to claim a 3-2 win.

A ten minute purple patch from the hosts saw them three goals clear after 23 minutes, a mountain that proved just too high for the Cherries to climb despite late goals from Brett Pitman and Steve Cook.

Howe opted to start with the same eleven who, despite dominating play for the duration of the game, lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Simon Francis couldn't shake his hamstring niggle in time for the flight to Lancashire so Baily Cargill retained his place on the Cherries bench, whilst an extra striker in the shape of Brett Pitman was favoured over Marc Pugh.

Jordan Rhodes' name was a welcome one on the team sheet for the Rovers faithful after a £12 million bid for the hotshot, tabled by Premier League Hull City, threatened to overshadow preparations for the hosts.

Unfortunately for the Cherries it seemed to have completely the opposite effect when the Scottish international put Rovers ahead after just 13 minutes. Steve Cook was nudged off the ball at the byline  by a hungry Rhodes, who proceeded to pick his spot and place through the legs of Lee Camp.

Early pressure had been all Cherries, with two long range efforts from Stanislas providing Paul Robinson with some uncomfortable low saves in the Blackburn goal. However, it was the hosts who doubled and tripled the lead with a quick fire salvo eight minutes later.

First to find the back of the net was captain Grant Hanley, who headed home Tom Cairney's corner with power and precision. There was more than a bit of luck for Rovers' third though, as Craig Conway's long range strike was deflected past a wrong-footed Camp by the boot of Gestede in a crowded penalty box.

In the minutes proceeding the goals Rovers nearly put the game out of sight. Gestede headed just past the post before Rhodes, with acres of space in the Cherries box, could only find the upright with a powerful drive.

The Cherries spent their fair share of the half in Rovers territory, but couldn't create any clear cut chances to threaten the host's net. Ben Marshall's shot was palmed away by Camp six minutes before the break, and the Cherries were offered 15 minutes to regroup after a testing first period. 

The introduction of Ryan Fraser at half time helped spark Howe's men into life, with the Scotsman linking well with Callum Wilson to create two efforts, both thwarted by Robinson. Yann Kermorgant worked the ex-England stopper with a long range effort after Stanislas' free-kick found the wall, but there was no way through the last line of defence for the Cherries.

Ten minutes from time the visitors were handed a lifeline by referee Geoff Eltringham, who awarded a spot kick after a trip on Adam Smith. Rovers fans weren't convinced by the decision, but Pitman made no mistake from 18 yards, finding the top right hand corner.

Steve Cook made life even more uncomfortable for the hosts, when his 90th minute header found the back of the net. Four minutes went up on the board and the Cherries' traveling support could sense a leveller, but Tommy Elphick couldn't get enough behind a header as the clock ticked down, and ultimately it was too little too late from the southerners who left Lancashire empty handed.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Lowe, Baptiste, Hanley, Olsson, Conway, Evans, Cairney, Marshall (King 60), Rhodes (Dunn 76), Gestede.

Substitutes: Eastwood, Henley, King, Dunn, Varney, Williamson, Taylor.

Goals: Rhodes 13', Hanley 21', Gestede 23'.

Cherries: Camp, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie (Fraser h/t), Arter, O'Kane, Stanislas (Pitman 74), Kermorgant (Rantie 65), Wilson.

Substitutes: Flahavan, Cargill, Harte, Gosling, Fraser, Pitman Rantie.

Booked: Cook.

Goals: Pitman (pen) 81', Cook 90'.

Attendance: 13,900 (319 away)

    Latest Match Reports