Trotters tamed by rampant Rovers

Nikola Kalinic gave Rovers the lead their first-half dominance

merited three minutes before the interval. And substitute Jason

Roberts and defender Gael Givet struck in the second half to ensure

Bolton, who threatened only sporadically, remain in the relegation

zone – to the glee of a 23,888 crowd at Ewood Park. Blackburn

threatened early on through Morten Gamst Pedersen’s long throws

and, after two were repelled, a third sailed into the net

untouched. Despite raucous cheers from the home faithful, play

restarted with a goal kick and the score at 0-0. Matt Taylor’s

threatening cross required a fine defensive header from Givet but

Chung-Yong Lee’s poor corner was headed away by the stooping first

man, Andrews. Taylor’s foul on Michel Salgado saw play stopped

before Johan Elmander netted – and Muamba then thwarted the best

Rovers chance thus far. Andrews met a dangerous corner and Muamba

cleared his header off the line before also diverting Kalinic’s

overhead kick onto the post and away to safety. Jaaskelainen had to

be quickly out of his area to prevent Hoilett reaching Salgado’s

dangerous through-ball and he was soon off limits again, scrambling

the ball back into his area and diving on it with Kalinic in hot

pursuit. Ricardo Gardner and Ryan Nelsen went off for treatment

following a collision in which the home captain came off worst, and

Rovers were then awarded a dangerous free-kick for full-back Paul

Robinson’s foul on Kalinic. Pedersen curled narrowly over. Nelsen’s

injury got the better of him and he was replaced by Vince Grella,

Andrews slotting in at centre-half. Rovers keeper Paul Robinson

made a good save to keep out Taylor’s drive – and was rewarded as

his side took a half-time lead. Excellent work from Diouf kept a

breakaway move going and Pedersen squared unselfishly for Kalinic

to rifle home, Jaaskelainen unable to keep the ball out despite

getting a touch on it. The first half began in light snow – and

without referee Chris Foy, who did not re-emerge due to an injury.

Fourth official Lee Probert took his place. Gloveman Robinson

preserved his side’s lead when he was quickly off his line to

smother the ball as Gardner ran clear on goal. And opposite number

Jaaskelainen also had to be at his best to keep out Hoilett’s

point-blank diving header from Pedersen’s cross. Bolton were denied

again when Lee’s shot on the turn drew a fine diving save from

Robinson. Boss Owen Coyle stepped up his side’s search for an

equaliser by introducing Vladimir Weiss and Mark Davies for Taylor

and Muamba, while Rovers withdrew the impressive Hoilett in favour

of striker Roberts. Kalinic got no support from Mr Probert when

toppling over last defender Robinson, and on-loan Manchester City

youngster Weiss made a vital interception when a Rovers break

threatened to put Pedersen through on goal. As the snow grew

heavier, Ivan Klasnic was introduced for Elmander and immediately

sent a tame free-kick into Robinson’s grasp. Steven Nzonzi’s

towering header from a Pedersen corner forced Jaaskelainen into a

superb save but it was only a temporary reprieve for Bolton.

Pedersen’s second flag-kick was not convincingly cleared and Givet

hooked it back into the box for Roberts to finish tamely through

the hands of the keeper. Gretar Steinsson was booked for flattening

Kalinic and Pedersen’s fierce low free-kick somehow eluded both the

Croatian and Diouf with only a touch needed. But Rovers were able

to add a third with six minutes remaining when Diouf’s free-kick

was headed in by Givet for the Frenchman’s first goal at Ewood

Park. Dunn replaced the hard-working Kalinic two minutes later,

with both men given standing ovations as the home faithful revelled

in their march to victory. Roberts squandered a good late chance

and Rovers failed to make the most of Jaaskelainen’s subsequent

dreadful goal-kick, but it was of no consequence.