BOWYER’S BOYS ARE ON THE UP

Mar­shall bags two in Rovers fight­back

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

GARY BOWYER be­lieves winger Ben Mar­shall’s per­for­mance was wor­thy of grac­ing the top-flight as Black­burn came from be­hind to de­feat Wi­gan.

James Perch gave the Lat­ics an early sec­ond-half lead but Rovers hit back through Mar­shall’s two sub­lime ef­forts sandwiching a Jor­dan Rhodes header after Ivan Ramis missed a first-half penalty.

And Rovers boss Bowyer – who felt the penalty should not have been awarded to Wi­gan – be­lieves his young side are grow­ing as they moved up to eighth.

“I thought he [Mar­shall] was out­stand­ing,” said Bowyer. “Tech­ni­cally, for me he’s got Premier­ship tech­nique and I think you saw that with the dif­fer­ent types of goals.

“The sec­ond one es­pe­cially is an un­be­liev­able fin­ish but he is ca­pa­ble of that. He’s worked hard and he’s get­ting bet­ter ev­ery game and we’re de­lighted with the progress that he’s made.

“It’s qual­ity fin­ish­ing – if you see that in the Premier League Match of the Day would be drool­ing over it, so you have to put that into per­spec­tive. We’ve got a group here that want to im­prove and want to get bet­ter and are com­mit­ted to each other.

“It’s a credit to their character and them learn­ing from last sea­son.They’re a young team and they’re learn­ing all the time and get­ting bet­ter and I think you saw that.”

The game opened with a well­worked fourth-minute Rovers move when Mar­cus Ols­son’s left­wing cross found Rhodes, whose header Scott Car­son par­ried wide.

Black­burn were let off the hook when Alex Bap­tiste was judged by ref­eree Roger East to have fouled a twist­ing and turn­ing Callum McMana­man, but Ramis put his 39th-minute penalty over the bar.

McMana­man was Wi­gan’s main threat and he jinked to get a stop­page time shot away, forc­ing Paul Robin­son into ac­tion.

Wi­gan took the lead soon after the break when Grant Han­ley’s clear­ance from Emyr Huws’ cross was picked up by Perch, whose long-dis­tance ef­fort found its way through sev­eral bod­ies and past Robin­son.

Rovers hit back two min­utes later when Mar­shall fired home a thun­der­ing ef­fort after the Lat­ics failed to clear their lines.

And Black­burn took the lead when Craig Con­way’s 56thminute free-kick was met by Rhodes, whose down­ward header crept into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Luke Var­ney could have wrapped up the win two min­utes later after latch­ing onto Tom Cair­ney’s pass to go one-on-one with Car­son, who di­verted it inches wide.

Mar­shall grabbed his sec­ond with a sub­lime 82nd-minute ef­fort after re­ceiv­ing pos­ses­sion cen­trally from Cair­ney, drift­ing inside and curl­ing ef­fort­lessly past a div­ing Car­son.

Lat­ics boss Uwe Rosler be­lieved the award­ing of the free­kick for Rhodes’ strike was the game’s turn­ing point and was dis­ap­pointed with the ref­eree’s per­for­mance.

“The sec­ond goal – I am very un­happy about this,” he said. “I think the ref­eree, be­ing at Black­burn Rovers’ ground, did that decision and I think when he watches that he will be very un­happy about his own per­for­mance, about his own de­ci­sion­mak­ing in that sit­u­a­tion and that turned the game def­i­nitely.

“The game changed through a set-piece. Against the top teams in this di­vi­sion, you have to be more ruth­less and just with nice, pretty foot­ball it will be dif­fi­cult.

“We have to deal bet­ter with free-kick sit­u­a­tions – that we will an­a­lyse and I think in gen­eral we have to be bet­ter.When we had a lit­tle bit more calm­ness, we could have re­ally wrapped the game up in the first-half and I don’t think they would have come back.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

ARMS SPREAD: Jor­dan Rhodes cel­e­brates the sec­ond goal for Black­burn

SPOT OF BOTHER: Wi­gan’s Ivan Ramis misses from the penalty spot

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