Belfast Telegraph

Roberts grabs Rovers winner

Substitute Jason Roberts sealed three precious points for Blackburn as they recorded a 2-1 victory over fellow relegation strugglers Wigan at Ewood Park with a 66th minute strike.

Roberts beat the offside trap to convert Brett Emerton's right-wing cross and add to Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick opener eight minutes earlier.

Charles N'Zogbia reduced the deficit from a free-kick in the 74th minute but Rovers had the last chance when David Dunn somehow poked wide from a Pascal Chimbonda cross.

Mame Biram Diouf had the best early chance when he was played clear by Pedersen, only for Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi save bravely.

Wigan had their first real shot on target in the 31st minute when Hugo Rodallega's left-foot effort was saved well by Paul Robinson.

And as the visitors ended the half strongly, Rovers had a lucky escape when N'Zogbia barged through to put the ball in the net, only to be pulled up for a foul on Pedersen.

Al Habsi had to perform heroics to keep his side level in the 49th minute when Pedersen met Emerton's deep cross from the right and the goalkeeper made a superb save.

Rovers grabbed the lead in the 58th minute when Pedersen's free-kick from out on the right touchline evaded everyone and curled into the top corner past a helpless Al Habsi.

And they went further ahead in the 66th minute when Emerton crossed from the right and Roberts beat the offside trip to slide home.

Wigan reduced the deficit when N'Zogbia drilled a low free-kick in off Robinson's left-hand post in the 74th minute, but they were unable to seriously threaten an equaliser.

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