Black­burn loss ends un­beaten streak

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

LEV­ELLER: Black­burn Rovers’ Alex Bap­tiste scores their only goal LAST GASP: Claude Dielna cel­e­brates with Jeremy He­lan after scor­ing Wed­nes­day’s win­ner

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