Vital win lifts Rovers out of the Drop Zone
With a third of the season left to go, Blackburn visited Craven Cottage in this midweek encounter after their initial match was postponed due to a frozen pitch. Robinson was reinstated in goals for Jason Brown, who could count himself unlucky after a superb performance against Everton. Morten Gamst and Jason Roberts came into the starting line up, with David Dunn on the bench.
Fulham got of to a dream start, with Rovers fans starting to think about Championship football only 1 minute in. A long hopeful ball by Danny Murphy found Clint Dempsey, who skipped past poor challenges from Nelsen and Samba, sliding the ball past Robinson after only 90 seconds were on the clock. 1-0 Fulham.
Rovers appeared shellshocked, with Fulham missing several opportunities within the first 15 minutes, and only solid last ditch defending from Steven Warnock and a reflex save from Robinson preventing Fulham from sealing it early. Rovers however almost nicked an against the run of play equaliser, with Steven Warnock finding his feet in the centre of the park, curling a delightful shot past the outstreched Mark Schwarzer, into the far post.
Rovers started to play a more controlled style of football, knocking the ball around the pitch, trying to use Jason Roberts as the main target man. However, with all the applied pressure, Rovers could not create a clear open opportunity.
As the half carried on, a few decisions started to go against El Hadji Diouf, who became a tad too frustrated, copping a yellow card at the break after continuouslly harassing referee Rob Styles. 1-0 Fulham Half time. With Rovers counting themselves unlucky to be trailing at the break after their poor start.
Whatever Big Sam said at the break, must of worked, with a completely different outfit coming out. Gamst actually looked threatening, Roberts was becoming more imposing, and Tugay starting to direct the play. Rovers started to build pressure, with Warnock pressing on. The opportunity came in the 69th minute, and Rovers capatilised, with a controversial goal awarded to none other than El Hadji Diouf. Chris's Samba's flicked on a header to Diouf, who slotted the ball home into the back of the net, however Diouf appeared to be initially offside, but we will take it regardless. 1-1
Rovers continued to push on, with long range efforts from Warnock, Tugay and Oijer coming agonisingly close. Gamst started to make darting runs down the flank, and the pressure was building on the Fulham Defence. McCarthy came into the attack, but had little impact on the game, similar to the man he came on for, Keith Andrews. With Rovers pushing for an away win, and Fulham sitting back, the pressure finally paid dividends for the travelling Rovers faithful. A nice threading pass by Morten Gamst found Jason Roberts, who, in typical fashion, turned his marker, and in untypical (is that a word?) fashion, blasted it into the back of the net with only 5 minutes remaining. 1-2 Rovers.
The minutes ticked on, and Rovers started to employ time wasting tactics. However the game ended with a late scare for Rovers, with a spectacular diving save by Paul Robinson keeping the Fulham lads from stealing a draw, and showing why he is Blackburn's Number 1.
A fantastic away victory for Rovers, climbing up to 15th spot, and clawing Fulham back into relegation battle.
I dont know what happened, what was thead, and how many expletives could of been let loose, but whatever happened, it worked. Now more of it!!!!!!!!
Paul Robinson 7
Ryan Nelsen 6.5
Chris Samba 6.5
EL Hadji Diouf 7
Jason Roberts 7