Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Rovers triumph over Baggies

Junior Hoilett

Blackburn manager Steve Kean celebrated his long-term contract with a third home victory in a row as Rovers claimed a 2-0 win over West Brom at Ewood Park to climb up to seventh place in the Barclays Premier League.

Kean this week signed a deal to keep him at the club until the summer of 2013 and, after a hotly-contested 40 minutes, he watched as Gabriel Tamas gave Rovers a huge helping hand with a powerful header into his own net.

The hosts' second came less than two minutes into the second half, Junior Hoilett sending a blistering shot into the roof of the net, and Blackburn held on reasonably comfortably, although West Brom should have had a penalty for a foul on Peter Odemwingie.

Paul Robinson was forced to make a decent save from Odemwingie's fierce shot with only 30 seconds gone, and that set the tone for a lively first half.

In the 13th minute, the Rovers goalkeeper was almost caught out when Paul Scharner nipped in front of him to collect a deflected cross and laid the ball back to Jerome Thomas, whose shot nicked off Robinson and drifted a yard wide of the far post.

In the 41st minute the Baggies undid all their hard work as Tamas inexplicably headed David Dunn's cross into the top corner under only slight pressure from debutant Roque Santa Cruz.

Blackburn deserved their lead, even if the goal was somewhat fortunate, but there was nothing lucky about their second, which came only 78 seconds into the second half.

A neat touch on his chest from Nikola Kalinic set Hoilett on his way and the 20-year-old jinked past Tamas before unleashing a shot from 20 yards that flew over Myhill and into the net. It was the Canadian's first Premier League goal and it may be some time before he scores a better one.

Having made a good impression on his debut, Jermaine Jones should have blotted his copybook by conceding a penalty in the 68th minute for an inadvisable lunge on Odemwingie, only for referee Mark Clattenburg to inexplicably award a free-kick instead.

The offence was clearly a yard inside the area but the Baggies' protests were in vain and Chris Brunt slammed his kick into the wall. West Brom continued to press thereafter but they were reduced to long-range efforts as Rovers comfortably kept the visitors at bay.

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