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Rovers Notch First Home Win

1 - 0

Ewood Park

September 20th



A tricky home tie against a Fulham outfit sitting comfortably in the top half of the table was the task for our Rovers outfit today. With David Dunn ruled out for 4 months, Grella out for 2 weeks, Paul Ince decided to give Keith Treacy a start on the left flank, with Gamst Pedersen shifted over to the right flank and Emerton playing in the centre of the park.

It was Fulham who got of to the brighter start, with a darting attack down the right flank seeing the ball being cut back to the feet of Andy Johnson, his blasted effort forced over the bar by Paul Robinson. Rovers then countered, with a Jason Roberts centering a header to Keith Andrews, striking it on the volley, however it went wide of Schwarzers net.

The game fizzed out in the opening 20 minutes, with foul after foul being commited by both outfits. Everton looked dangerous with the ball at the feet of Jimmy Bullard, who copped a couple of rash challenges from Keith Andrews and Brett Emerton.

The BLackburn defence must have copped an earbashing during the week, as Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen finally showed us what they were capable, shutting down Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora throughout the half. The same could not be said about the Fulham defence, as a misjudged offside trap put Roque Santa Cruz through, who could only blast his shot straight at Schwarzer, easily parrying the ball away. A Morten Gamst Pedersen free kick caused mayhem in the box, with Schwarzer getting the slightest of touches, preventing Chris Samba notching his first goal of the campaign.

Rovers best chance of the half fell at the feet of Mr Versatile, Brett Emerton. After collecting the ball past half-way, Brett dazzled his way past 2 defenders, cutting back at the corner of the penalty box. Two touches then a curling effort rattled the post, leaving his compatriot Schwarzer breathing a sigh of relief. Rovers were almost made to rue their luck, however a piece of great defending from Ryan Nelsen prevented Andy Johnson's shot hitting the target. 0-0 Half time.

The Second half started with no changes by either side. More space became availble for both teams, with Keith Treacy skinning the Fulham Right back, Pantsil on a few occasions. Pantsil became the crowds favourite boo boy after a clumsy challenge on Treacy, which the referee failed to spot. Warnock returned the favour, with a ball in all tackle moments later that left Pantsil on the ground.

With chances few and far inbetween, Paul Ince made the first change, with Morten Gamst Pedersen making way for Tugay. Gamst was not happy with the substitution, heading for the tunnels. Andy Johnson, was presented with Fulhams best chance of the game, placed one on one with Paul Robinson, who stood up to the task, parrying the blasted shot. Ryan Nelsen was on hand to clear it away before the oncoming Fulham traffic had any chance of cleaning it up.

Blackburn made a further change, with Chilean sensation Carlos Villanueva making his Premier League Debut, replacing a disgrunteled Jason Roberts who followed Gamst into the sheds. However both could be seen watching from the stands within minutes. THe changes didnt stop there, with Matt Derbyshrie coming on for Keith Treacy.

And it was the three substitutes who played a major hand in the goal 10 minutes from time. Tugay took control in the centre of the park, playing a pass onto the feet of VIllanueva who took a touch and played the most delicate inch perfect chip onto the head of Roque Santa Cruz. His centered header was met by Matt Derbyshire, who clinically slotted the half volley into the back of the net. 1-0 Rovers.

WIth moments to go, a Rovers throw-in found the feet of Villanueva, who jinxed past a Fulham defender and blasted a shot, almost bending into the bottom left corner.

Full Time

Rovers 1 Fulham 0

Star Player

Brett Emerton/CHris Samba.

Brett Emerton recieved the sponsors man of the match. He had a fantastic first half, looking the most dangerous of our options, almost scoring with a stunning strike. Credit must go to Chris Samba, who shut out the prolific ANdy Johnson and Bobby Zamora

Player Ratings

Paul Robinsin 8.5

Called into action 3 times, made 3 saves, well done Robbo.

Chris Samba 8.5

Fantastic performance from the big man, met every header, no silly errors, cant ask for any more can we.

Ryan Nelson 8.5

Led the boys fantastically, made a crucial intervention, shutting down AJ as soon as he was about to finish and also pounced to recover Robinsons parried save from another AJ shot

Danny Simpson 8

This lad has loads of potential. I no Sir Alex really rates him, maybe we would be able to sign him up, looks solid and confident at RB.

Steven Warnock 7.5

Much better performance then last week, really showed Pantsil what he was in for with that ball and all tackle.

Keith Andrews 7.5

Played well, solid passing game, good strike on the volley, and made some crucial tackles

Brett Emerton 8.5

Sparkling run in the first half, unlucky with the shot. Went back to his preferred right mid position in the second half, bit of trickery was enjoyed by the fans.

Keith Treacy 8

Real solid performance from the lad, took on his marker, got some decent crosses in. Would like to see him cut into the box and have a shot every now and then

Morten Gamst Pedersen 7

Playing out of position, had to feel sorry for the lad. Always cut back in of the right flank, whipped in a fantastic free kick

Jason Roberts 8

Worked hard, chased everything down, once again, didnt deserve to be taken of, but hey, we won

Roque Santa Cruz 7

Stepped up when JR went of as he became the target man. However the first 70 minutes he was really quiet


Came on with 30 to go, pulled the strings, knocked the ball around and started of the goal scoring play

Carlos VIllanueva

We saw 20 minutes of him, and we loved it. Hope he will feature more. Fantastic chip for the goal, and almost got one of his own

Matt Derbyshire

He really knows where the goal is. Clinical finishing from the lad, well done

The Dilemma Part 1

Jason Roberts and Roque Santa Cruz

2 top quality strikers, however, 2 real target man. I feel when these two are on the pitch together, Roque tends to dissapear. JR becomes the main target man, something Roque really is not use to. JR has been performing fantastically, but what would you prefer, JR on fire, or Santa Cruz on fire. We did look much more dangerous with Villanueva and Derbyshire running of Roque rather then the two big man up front

The Dilemma Part 2

Keith Treacy or Morten Gamst Pedersen

2 quality left wingers. Keith Treacy has the feel of fresh air and is really similar to Damien Duff. Likes to hit the byline, gets stuck into the tackles whilst Morten Gamst is the more technical of the two, also with the ability to take on the man, cut in or whip in a fantastic cross.

At the moment, i would rather have Gamst on the left flank, he was wasted on the right flank today.

Sasmans Award for Most Improved

Defence and Robinson.

Well done lads. That was our first clean sheet of the season, well defended, and a fine few saves from Robinson.

Date:Saturday September 20 2008
Time: 5:31PM


Well done to the boys, Villanueva!!!!!! really looks the goods aye lads
20/09/2008 17:33:00
IMO the changes made the difference. As Sas says Tugay got hold of the midlfield (where we were being outplayed), Carlos really looked dangerous and well matty scored a lovely goal, quality striker want to see more of him
durks de rover
20/09/2008 17:45:00
Nice report sas. I'm definitely part of the club that wouldn't mind seeing more of Matt Derbyshire now and who doesn't want to see Villanueva start a game. Good performance and we were well worth the 3pts, and finally a clean sheet.
20/09/2008 18:59:00
i think the most shocking thing about this game was how fulham completely ripped off our away kit from last year!
20/09/2008 19:04:00
texasrover about the away kit totally agree. But great result really need to win to see where we are going this season, like the point about JR and Roque, but Derbyshire is such a good impact player. Wonder if Benni was actually injured today?
20/09/2008 19:18:00
wow, Villeneuva is like Arteta only shorter! The guy has got one thing that our midfield has been lacking - vision. Like the article, again, Sasman, and the dilemmas are spot on - i like the idea of cv and rsc more than jr and rsc. P'raps the South American football understanding will bring the best out of both rsc and cv. Can't wait to hear what Oz has to say...
Desert Kiwi
20/09/2008 20:31:00
He wont say anything because Ince got it spot on, bar maybe the strating lineup, but thats just a matter of opinion. he saw things werent right and made changes, most importantly the right changes. he didnt bring his 'friend on' (fowler) but Andrews was quite good today, didnt waste possesion and put in a few decent challenges. Come on Oz what was worng with todays performance?
durks de rover
21/09/2008 00:23:00
Must say, I wasn't too happy with JR, and was pleased when he came off...he seems quite happy go lucky - great when things are going his way, but when things aren't he gets a bit stroppy and goes down far too easily. Also agree with Sasman that JR becomes the target man, which I don't like. I can't imagine that's a tactic endorsed by management, as RSC is much better at holding the ball up and distributing. Just my 2 cents worth.
Desert Kiwi
21/09/2008 06:48:00
i like your two cents worth kiwi, mainly cause we agree lol. I also would prefer RSC as the target man, but JR has been fantastic for us this season
21/09/2008 07:42:00
Went to the game yest n gotta say that for most of it, we did look dis-jointed. Badly needed a creative spark in the middle of the pitch to open the game up and we got it with CV. Derbyshire looked at home on the wing, drifting in to the box unmarked whenever he wanted to. Thought Inces initial team was to be desired and MGP looked like a fish out of water on the right. Still, he did make changes and they did pay off. Could have been very different but for the saves from Robbo (was made up for the lad) and the defence reacted to his confidence by putting a much improved performance in the second half. Cant help thinking that a better team would have taken advantage of our early defensive jitters but the main thing is that we won and we roll on to Everton in the cup and a trip to geordieland full of points = Robbo plus the defence (SW in particular who i thought grew during the game after his recent horror shows), Keith Andrews who was great and may be silencing his critics, Matty Derb who showed his quality yet again and CV who looks a little heavy and lightweight (if that makes sense) but possess' exactly what we need in terms of vision and quality.......negatives = overall lack of quality, MGP who wouldn't get in most 3rd div sides on his current form and application, JR who was average. Defo agree with the comments about RSC playing better without him and for that alone he wouldn't play for me. We have Derbs and CV now and JR is better used as a sub OR replacement for RSC when injured......match report and rant over!!! Thanks mani
21/09/2008 12:10:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
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