RHODES’ RETURN REVIVES ROVERS
Jordan’s goals are tonic for embargo
BLACKBURN may have made headlines for the wrong reasons last week but boss Gary Bowyer, says it made his side come out fighting in their win over Charlton.
Rovers have been handed a transfer embargo for the current campaign for breaching Financial Fair Play rules and had lost two successive games.
But Jordan Rhodes’ first-half double handed Blackburn their first win in three while the Addicks slipped to their fifth game without a victory.
“We had some negativity in the press this week obviously with the Financial Fair Play and the fact that we’d lost two games on the trot, you’d have thought we’d not won for about ten seasons the way some people were talking about us,” Bowyer said.
“But it made us stick together even harder, stronger and come out fighting.
“Our intensity in our game, with and without the ball, was magnificent but even more so without the ball – I thought that was terrific.
“We never let Charlton settle. We were then able to control the game from my point of view.
“The only disappointment was Jason Lowe’s injury and the fact that it wasn’t more than two because after our first-half performance, we should have been more than two up.”
Rovers nearly drew first blood three minutes in when Ben Marshall’s incisive pass found Rhodes in behind Andre Bikey but Nick Pope stood strong.
But the Lancashire side took the lead when Jordan Cousins was robbed of possession three minutes later and Marshall fed in Rhodes who finished calmly.
Pope nearly gifted Rovers a second on eight minutes when he failed to hold onto Rhodes’ cross and Rudy Gestede’s follow-up deflected over off Morgan Fox.
Charlton experienced another defensive meltdown to gift Rhodes his second after the striker shook off Tal Ben Haim’s 19thminute challenge and poked past an onrushing Pope to tap into an empty net.
As the home side pressed, Jason Lowe unleashed a fierce 31st-minute long-distance drive which Pope did well to parry.
Addicks front man Igor Vetokele’s first sniff at goal saw him glance a 34th-minute header from Chris Solly’s cross wide.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson found Callum Harriott for the Londoners but the winger put his 42nd-minute effort well off-target.
Rudy Gestede could have got on the scoresheet after Alex Baptiste’s low 55th-minute cross found its way to Blackburn’s top scorer but he drilled his first time shot over.
Charlton improved after the break and Gudmundsson’s 66thminute corner was met by Vetokele who nodded just wide through a crowd of bodies.
Ryan Tunnicliffe tested Pope with a curling 79th-minute effort from the edge of the area but the Charlton stopper produced a sublime diving save.
Charlton boss Bob Peeters said: “I think we started very bad and we know what they were all about physically with a lot of presence in the box.
“But if you give away the game for the first 15 minutes then you can’t do anything about it – it’s a bad day at the office.
“What is normally our strength is our defence and defensive discipline – that’s what we lacked especially first 20 minutes and if you come against experienced teams with a lot of presence and aggressivity then we will struggle like we did today.
“Normally we don’t give away the game that early. Normally they are always very tight games and we’re very hard to beat.
“We miss some players, we don’t have the largest squad and it’s a tough league.
“I think we missed a bit of experience as well.”
ROVER THE MOON: Blackburn’sJordan Rhodes celebrates scoring his first goal of the day
RHODE TO GOAL: Jordan Rhodes beats Nick Pope to score Blackburn’s second goal