Report: Blackburn Rovers vs. Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers were defeated 2-0 by Blackburn Rovers on Monday afternoon, with goals coming from Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong for the home side in this derby day clash.

Team News

Manager Phil Parkinson made three changes from the side that started against Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship.

Mark Beevers and Luca Connell come in for the injured duo of David Wheater and Gary O’Neil, along with Craig Noone replacing Will Buckley.

First Half

Sammy Ameobi had the first chance of the match for either side, with a rippling drive from distance just finishing off target.

Five minutes in and Wanderers had a glorious opportunity to take the lead through Callum Connolly.

A perfectly weighted cross into the Rovers’ penalty area found the Evertonian free at the back post, but unable to direct his header into the back of the goal.

Wanderers continued to ramp up the pressure, with Harry Brockbank laying off Luca Connell, who hit his shot first from the edge of the area, with Rovers ‘keeper Jayson Leutwiler dealing with the attempt comfortably.

With 20 minutes gone, Blackburn had their first chance of the game as Jack Rodwell hit a 25 yard shot that narrowly missed Ben Alnwick’s goal.

Ben Brereton nearly had Rovers ahead, but a superb block from Jack Hobbs set about a Wanderers counter attack.

Craig Noone went on to set up Clayton Donaldson, with the Jamaican having two chances saved by Luetwiler.

However on the half hour mark, Brereton put Rovers ahead with a well-placed finish into the bottom right corner.

Former Wanderers loanee Adam Armstrong nearly put Blackburn two ahead shortly before half time, with his close range effort blocked by first half substitute Marc Wilson.

Substitute Luke Murphy almost had the Whites back in this clash in added time, with a thunderous shot from a speculative distance that was inches from sending the travelling fans into the break with a goal.

Second Half

First chance of the half came to Rovers’ Armstrong, as he shrugged off a challenge from Craig Noone before having his shot blocked by Andrew Taylor.

Ameobi responded for Wanderers with a fierce strike from distance that save Leutwiler spill the original effort before clutching at the ball on the second attempt.

But, with just five minutes of the second period gone, Rovers doubled their lead as Armstrong latched onto a rebound from Ben Alnwick’s save, and slotted the ball home.

Following the restart, Connolly almost instantly responded for Phil Parkinson’s men as his shot from close range was saved well by Leutwiler.

Armstrong was starting to have more of an impact on this clash, with another 25 yard attempt at goal stinging the gloves of Alnwick.

It should have been a third goal for Blackburn just past the hour mark, with a menacing cross into the danger zone by Joe Rothwell found a waiting Brereton from inside six yard, only for the forward to surprisingly sky his effort over the crossbar.

Craig Noone nearly had a goal back from Wanderers 11 minutes from time, with a shot from close to the halfway line that almost caught out Jayson Leutwiler.

At the other end, a superb run from Dan Butterworth ended with a shot across the goalmouth that was nearly turned in Brereton at the far post.

Butterworth cut inside the box moments after, culminating in a shot that was saved by Alnwick comfortably.

Elliot Bennett had an effort saved well by Alnwick minutes later, with a long range effort finishing the grasp of the Wanderers shot stopper.

A minute from the end of regulation time, a Joe Muscatt cross was flicked on by Clayton Donaldson to Craig Noone, who saw his effort sail just wide of the target.

Noone followed this effort up with a free-kick that failed to hit the target, which ultimately was the last significant moment of this clash.

Full Time

Wanderers XI: Alnwick, Taylor (C), Beevers (Wilson 11), Donaldson, Ameobi, Noone, Hobbs, Connolly, J. Williams (Murphy 39), Brockbank (Muscatt 75), Connell.

Unused substitutes: B. Williams, Oztumer, Buckley, Magennis.

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