Rovers en­joy­ing calmer wa­ters

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Jack McCluskey To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

WHERE once there was chaos now an eerie calm has set­tled over Black­burn Rovers with Craig Con­way the lat­est player to aid the club’s quiet pro­mo­tion push.

Con­way, mak­ing his full de­but fol­low­ing his Jan­uary ar­rival from Cardiff City, fin­ished off a sweep­ing counter-at­tack in the first half with his first goal for the club.

It was enough for Black­burn to see off a Read­ing side and nar­row the gap be­tween Rovers and the play-off places to four points.

And while has rep­re­sented some­thing of a com­edy club since the Venky’s takeover of 2010, man­ager Gary Bowyer has got them back on an even keel and may yet en­joy the last laugh.

“It is a very dif­fi­cult place to come, they are a very good team so we are de­lighted with how we went about are game,” he said.

“You know when you come to a top team there are go­ing to be spells in the game where it will be fran­tic. They all stood to­gether and stood firm.

“It was a great counter at­tack goal and I am de­lighted for Craig Con­way.

“We broke, Jordan [Rhodes] did ever so well chas­ing the lad down and we had one or two over – I am im­pressed with the de­sire we had. There are loads of club in the Cham­pi­onship but we have 15 games now and our aim is just to get as many points as we can.”

Bowyer has opted to watch re­cent games from the stands, “it keeps you out of trou­ble”, and he cer­tainly would have liked what he saw, though it was Read­ing who made the brighter start.

Pavel Po­greb­nyak slid in Jobi McAnuff on the left wing but af­ter cut­ting in his shot was saved by Paul Robin­son.

The striker had an­other chance on 18 min­utes when a cross was de­liv­ered by McAnuff but good de­fend­ing once again stopped the home side tak­ing the lead.

The game was slow for half an hour and the Roy­als were re­duced to long-range ef­forts.

A foul from Ja­son Lowe, for which he was booked, ten min­utes be­fore half time gave the home side a chance from a free kick but Jordan Obita's ef­fort hit the wall.

Black­burn broke and af­ter Jordan Rhodes was tack­led the ball fell to Con­way whose left­footed ef­fort put his side ahead.

The goal sparked the vis­i­tors into life and Alex McCarthy had to put a strong hand on Rhodes’ vol­ley from just out­side the box be­fore al­most spilling a the striker’s header just be­fore half time.

Nigel Ad­kins’ team needed to add some spark and he made a triple sub­sti­tu­tion on 62 min­utes and they could have had a penalty five min­utes later.

Adam Le Fon­dre turned Matt Kil­gal­lon and as the de­fender fell to the floor his trail­ing arm knocked the ball away, much to the dis­plea­sure of Ad­kins.

“It was a clear penalty, there is your talk­ing point. We just didn’t get the rub of the green on it,” he said. “Adam is six yards from goal, it is a penalty.

“We have been on a good run of form with good mo­men­tum but we couldn't cap­i­talise on that.

“They have come away from home and gone back with all three points.

“We know what we have got to go and achieve, there is a spirit amongst the play­ers and they work re­ally hard.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

ALL SMILES: Black­burn’s Craig Con­way cel­e­brates scor­ing his side’s win­ning goal with team mates

LEG UP: Grant Han­ley

is chal­lenged

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