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Jones brace downs Rovers

22 Aug 2009 14:03:17

Jones brace downs Rovers

Sunderland came from behind to beat Blackburn 2-1 at the Stadium of Light thanks to a double from Kenwyne Jones. Blackburn started strongly and opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Sunderland scrambled a corner clear to Gael Givet on the edge of the area and he drilled a low shot past Marton Fulop. Jones drew the Black Cats level against the run of play on 31 minutes, latching onto a clever Steed Malbranque pass and skipping round Paul Robinson. The Trinidad and Tobago striker then headed home Lee Cattermole's excellent cross early in the second half to put Sunderland in front. Steven N'Zonzi thought he had equalised moments later but his goal was disallowed, while Nikola Kalinic also missed a glorious late chance as Sunderland held on to secure three points. Givet strikeThe visitors had already had a Jason Roberts goal correctly ruled out for a foul by Christopher Samba on Fulop when former Black Cat El-Hadji Diouf dispatched a volley which looked to be heading for the top corner before Fulop threw out a hand to turn it away. The respite, however, was short-lived as Rovers took the lead from the resulting corner when Lee Cattermole on the line could only clear Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross as far as Givet, who gleefully thumped a left-foot drive through a crowded penalty area and into the back of the net with the help of a slight deflection. Sunderland looked vulnerable every time the visitors were presented with a set-piece with Samba proving a real nuisance in the box. However, they were back on terms 13 minutes before the break after staging one of what proved to be a handful of cohesive attacks during the opening 45 minutes. Cattermole's clearing header was picked up by Malbranque, who lifted the ball over the top for Jones to leave Samba and Ryan Nelsen in his wake before rounding Robinson and slotting into the empty net. Kalinic, on for the injured Franco di Santo, found himself in space 10 yards out, but scuffed his left-foot shot horribly. Nelsen, who had just returned from injury, failed to reappear for the second half and his place was taken by Martin Olsson, although the change did not seem to hamper his team. Indeed, Rovers might have gone ahead once again within five minutes when Fulop spilled Diouf's cross under pressure and Kalinic lifted the rebound high over the bar from four yards. Blackburn were made to pay with 54 minutes gone when Cattermole broke down the left and crossed for Jones to power home a close-range header. Furious reactionBut the visitors thought they were back into it within seconds when, after Fulop had punched a Pedersen free-kick out to Steve N'Zonzi, the midfielder looped a header into the empty net. However, the flag had gone up for offside against Samba, and Allardyce's furious reaction said everything about his view on the decision. Rovers' misery increased as the game entered its latter stages, with luck deserting them once again. Samba looked odds-on to score after the ball was played back across goal and he got his head to it, but his effort came back off the underside of the crossbar and Kalinic was once again unable to stab it home in the midst of a melee. Olsson ripped a shot into the side-netting seconds later with Sunderland living dangerously, but it was Kalinic who might have snatched a point deep into injury-time.


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