RHODES’ RE­TURN RE­VIVES ROVERS

Jor­dan’s goals are tonic for em­bargo

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

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

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