Rovers Fall at the Reebok
The Reebok Stadium
Blackburn Rovers were dragged back into the relegation dogfight after an uninspiring performance allowed the home team to take early control, a Wheater double ensuring Bolton would climb out of the drop zone.
Lowe, Dann, Hanley, Martin O
Formica, Gamst, Marcus O
With pre-match tributes for Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton side were always going to be fired up for the Lancashire Derby. This showed early on as Bolton managed to move the ball well, targeting the Rovers flanks whilst Blackburn were guilty of giving away possesion time and time again.
Martin Petrov and Ryo Miyaichi caused the early havoc down the flanks, skipping past their man only to find the end product did not find the striker. So once this route was tested, Petrov decided to take it in his own hands, powering a drive from 25 yards, fortunately straight at Paul Robinson.
Blackburn failed to settle into the game however controversy struck mid way through the half as Junior Hoilett surged into the box. After darting past two men, Hoilett danced his way into the Bolton 18 yard box before being brought down by Steinsson, referee Andre Marriner waving play on the the fury of the travelling supporters.
It turned out to be a game changer with Rovers soon guilty of some very sloppy marking. A corner was only half cleared by Rovers, Petrov returning the ball back into the box for Wheater to head home unmarked. 1-0 Bolton
Blackburn Rovers almost clawed one back immediately, Marcus Olsson turning his man before a delightful cross saw Yakubu power his header inches wide. The opportunity proved to be one of the best for Rovers as Bolton soon doubled their advantage. Miyaichi sent in corner, David Wheater pouncing once again, an open header from 10 yards. Bolton 2-0
The second half brought more of the same. Ngog should of put the game beyond doubt, heading over from 6 yards whilst Davies was next to try his luck, forcing a save out of Robinson. The game took a big turn 60 minutes in as Rovers drew one back. A Gamst Pedersen long throw was arrowed into the goal mouth, Nzonzi rising highest and flicking into the net, 2-1.
The momentum changed as Rovers started to increase the tempo and find themselves in attacking positions. However a lack of killer instinct saw half chances go astray as Rovers just could not penetrate the solid Bolton defence. Bogdan looked sloppy in goals so the aerial bombardment continued, however Hanley, Yakubu and Nzonzi all managed to steer headers from close range over.
David Dunn came on for Formica in an attempt to break through the defence however Bolton held firm, claiming the Lancashire Derby and climbing out of the drop zone.