The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John McDougall

BLACK­BURN sealed their first league win of the sea­son and it was a per­for­mance that left boss Owen Coyle purring over how they de­mol­ished the Millers.

Danny Ward gave Rother­ham the lead but Rovers fought back through Craig Con­way, Marvin Emnes and Ben Mar­shall.

Ward added his sec­ond late on be­fore Sam Gal­lagher scored Black­burn’s fourth in stop­page time to lift Rovers off the foot of the ta­ble.

“What’s so pleas­ing about it was the man­ner of the per­for­mance and how we won,” said Coyle.

“We started the game bril­liantly, we could have been two goals up and from that we con­cede a coun­ter­at­tack goal from two very good play­ers.

“It’d have been easy then to feel sorry for your­self, but we’ve said to them each day as we work with them, we con­tinue to play in the same way whether you’re 1-0 up or 10 down.

“We’ve got a cer­tain way we want to play and that’s on the front foot, pass and move with the ball, which we did.

“We scored a won­der­ful equaliser and then we just con­tin­ued to get bet­ter and bet­ter.”

Fol­low­ing a bright Rovers start, Rother­ham took a 12th-minute lead af­ter Isa­iah Brown slipped in Ward who coolly slot­ted a one-on-one past Ja­son Steele.

Con­way drew Black­burn level ten min­utes later af­ter pick­ing up pos­ses­sion in the mid­dle and un­leash­ing a fe­ro­cious shot which flew past an out­stretched Lee Camp.

Brown tore through the Black­burn mid­field to find Ward once more on 25 min­utes, who was de­nied his sec­ond of the after­noon by an on­rush­ing Steele.

Then Rovers took the lead when Con­way burst down the left and drove into the box, coolly set­ting up a free Emnes for a com­posed fin­ish on the half hour.

Camp kept the deficit at just one with a sub­lime save af­ter Con­way’s cross was de­flected to­wards goal by Millers de­fender Joe Mat­tock.

But within 20 sec­onds of the sec­ond half, Mar­shall added Rovers’ third af­ter cut­ting in­side and curl­ing a left-footed ef­fort past Camp.

Gal­lagher nearly had a goal to cap off his fine per­for­mance af­ter ris­ing high­est to meet Con­way’s cross but his header rat­tled off the bar.

The Millers grabbed one back with seven min­utes to go when Stephen Kelly darted down the right wing and his cross was headed past Steele at the near post by Ward for his sec­ond of the game.

But Black­burn had the last laugh as Emnes out­mus­cled and drifted into the box to set up strike part­ner Gal­lagher, who fired home for a de­served goal.

It left boss Millers boss Alan Stubbs ad­mit­ting his side con­trib­uted to their own down­fall af­ter let­ting in four goals away from home for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive game.

“I thought we sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to the re­sult and when you give away goals that we’ve given away, you’ll find it’s very dif­fi­cult to win games of foot­ball,” he said.

“We can’t come away from home and score two goals and not be in a po­si­tion where you’re tak­ing some­thing out of the game. First and fore­most, we have to cut out ba­sic, fun­da­men­tal mis­takes.

“I can’t think of any goals that we’ve con­ceded where teams have com­pletely cut us open, but we’re sig­nif­i­cantly con­tribut­ing to our own down­fall by mak­ing those mis­takes and we’re get­ting pun­ished for them.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BIG BEN: Ben Mar­shall en­joys scor­ing Black­burn’s third


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