DIELNA LEAVES IT LATE AT ROVERS
Blackburn loss ends unbeaten streak
STUART Gray admitted Sheffield Wednesday’s late win over Blackburn was two points gained after it looked almost certain the spoils were going to be shared.
Claude Dielna’s late winner with one of his first touches secured back-to-back league wins for Wednesday after Alex Baptiste had cancelled out Kieran Lee’s first-half opener.
But Owls boss Gray felt the win at Ewood Park – which lifts them to 12th – has balanced out results that haven’t gone their way earlier in the season.
“It’s a horrible feeling and I feel for Gary but we’ll take it because I’m a great believer these things will balance themselves out,” he said.
“We lost two points to Millwall at home with the last kick of the game and we’ve gained two points, because it was just looked like it was going to fizz out to a draw in the end.
“I’m a great believer in the harder you work, it does balance itself out for you.
“I thought Kieran Lee’s got his goal and we had two or three more opportunities where we’ve got in behind them and then we stopped doing what was getting our success and allowed Blackburn to come into the game.
“Performance-wise we’ve been playing well – I think that’s 20 games now and only four defeats so that’s not a bad record.”
Wednesday nearly drew first blood through Jeremy Helan, who received Royston Drenthe’s pinpoint ball forward but Jason Steele smothered the second minute shot and Stevie May’s follow-up was deflected over.
But Steele gifted the Owls the opener moments later when May latched onto Liam Palmer’s long ball and the Blackburn stopper spilled the effort for Lee to fire home.
Rovers drew level through Baptiste who prodded home from Jordan Rhodes’ 16th-minute header down past an onrushing Keiren Westwood.
Blackburn rode their luck when Shane Duffy lost the pacy May to go through on goal and Steele parried the Scot’s 25th minute effort wide.
Wednesday playmaker Lewis McGugan was stretchered off after being knocked unconscious following an aerial duel with Lee Williamson on the half-hour and that led to seven minutes of added time.
Rhodes was millimetres away from handing Rovers a 36thminute lead after his glancing header from Craig Conway’s right-wing cross hit the woodwork with Westwood beaten.
After the break, Duffy nodded Ben Marshall’s 49th-minute corner delivery at the backpost but Westwood parried wide.
As Rovers turned the screw, substitute Ryan Tunnicliffe thundered a volley after Marshall’s 73rd-minute free-kick was half cleared and Westwood’s reflexes kept the score level.
Veteran midfielder David Dunn drove into the Wednesday area but fired his 88th-minute effort across goal and wide.
But Wednesday snatched the win when substitute Dielna exchanged possession with Lee deep into stoppage time and his long-range curling effort deflected past Steele.
Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer – who side went into the game unbeaten in nine – said:“It wasn’t a particularly very good game and I thought the manner of the three goals probably matched the quality of the game – they were three poor scrappy goals.
“But we have to now realise that our level of performance wasn’t good enough – we know that, we’re honest enough.
“Through this fantastic run that we’ve had we’ve stayed level with it all the time and we’re going to stay level again today.
“I think over the last 32 games we’ve lost five, so we’re not going to press the panic buttons or anything silly like that.”
LEVELLER: Blackburn Rovers’ Alex Baptiste scores their only goal LAST GASP: Claude Dielna celebrates with Jeremy Helan after scoring Wednesday’s winner