Blackburn 2-0 Blackpool: Match Report

28 January 2017 05:34

Blackburn beat 10-man Blackpool on Gary Bowyer's return to Ewood Park

Elliott Bennett's spectacular strike capped off a miserable return to Blackburn for Gary Bowyer as 10-man Blackpool were defeated 2-0 in the FA Cup fourth round.

Blackburn, who sacked Bowyer as boss in November 2015, led in the ninth minute through a simple Sam Gallagher header.

Bennett's spectacular 30-yard strike - his first of the season - then doubled the lead midway through the first half.

Any lingering hopes of a comeback from the Sky Bet League Two side seemed to end when Kelvin Mellor received a second booking in the 65th minute for a rash challenge.

And, although the visitors hit the crossbar soon after, Rovers remained in control to deny any chance of an upset.

Owen Coyle brought in Ryan Nyambe for the injured Charlie Mulgrew in one of two changes from the draw with Birmingham while captain Andy Taylor returned for the Seasiders.

Rovers took only nine minutes to highlight the gulf between the sides when Jason Lowe swung in a cross from the right that goalkeeper Sam Slocombe came to meet but was beaten to by the unmarked Gallagher, who headed in his 10th goal this season.

The visitors switched to 4-4-2 but only had Bright Osayi-Samuel's tame effort to show for their endeavour.

Blackburn again showed their superiority in stunning fashion in the 22nd minute when Bennett played a neat one-two with Craig Conway before unleashing an unstoppable 30-yard effort that dipped and curled into the top corner.

Jack Payne's 35-yard thunderbolt soon after went over but sufficiently worried Jason Steele, and in first-half injury time, Jim McAlister met a cross from Taylor but directed his header just wide.

Rovers have only lost once to the Seasiders since 1979 and continued to look the likeliest to add to the scoring. Conway had a good opportunity with a 61st-minute free-kick but Slocombe gathered easily.

Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished in the 65th minute when Mellor, who was booked minutes earlier, launched into a wild challenge on Hope Akpan and received a deserved red card.

Gallagher almost added a third in the 70th minute when he latched onto Bennett's cutback but his fierce effort was superbly tipped onto the post by Slocombe.

Blackpool remained competitive and should have grabbed a goal back a minute later when Clark Robertson's cross found Will Aimson unmarked and, although his powerful header beat Steele, it cannoned off the crossbar.

Slocombe produced a miraculous save in the 89th minute, diverting a point-blank Conway effort away after a poor Robertson pass back to him, but Rovers ensured comfortable progress.


Source: PA


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