Blackburn snatch crucial win

Blackburn took a huge step towards Championship survival after

Jordan Rhodes’ penalty secured a vital 2-1 win at Millwall.

Rovers and Millwall were heading for a point apiece after David

Jones’ freak goal had cancelled out Karleigh Osborne’s first-half

opener for the hosts.

But with 12 minutes to go referee Gavin Ward adjudged Danny

Shittu had tripped Grant Hanley inside the penalty area.

Millwall protested long and hard, claiming Hanley had dived, but

Rhodes kept his nerve to tuck in his 27th goal of the season.

Lions skipper Shittu continued his protest after the final

whistle and was shown a second yellow card followed by a red by

referee Ward.

It meant Rovers leapfrogged Millwall into 15th spot, five points

above the relegation zone with two matches left.

The Lions led through defender Osborne’s first goal for the

club, but should have been further ahead by the time Rovers

levelled, as Jack Smith and James Henry had already seen efforts

fly just wide before Osborne struck in the 14th minute.

Hanley was booked for lunging in at Liam Feeney and, from the

free-kick, Henry found the head of Mark Beevers at the far post,

whose header back across goal was blocked but it fell to Osborne,

who swivelled like a striker before lashing the ball into the net

from eight yards.

Rovers lost striker Colin Kazim-Richards to injury early on and

barely threatened until the final 10 minutes of the first half.

And in stoppage time a fierce 25-yard drive from Jones was

heading for the top corner until Lions goalkeeper David Forde got a

fingertip on it to make a superb save.

But the equaliser came in the 56th minute when Jones swung a

corner towards the near post which squirmed past Rob Hulse and into

the net, leaving the on-loan QPR striker with his head in his


Forde made another good save from Dunn but was furious when

referee Ward pointed to the spot in the 78th minute. Both he and

Shittu were booked for their protests before Rhodes sent Forde the

wrong way.

Osborne could have snatched a dramatic equaliser in stoppage

time but his shot was kept out by the legs of Grzegorz Sandomierski

as Rovers held out for a crucial win.