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Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Blackburn Rovers - Match Report
Published : 24 Apr 2010 17:18:01Rss feed
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake climbed off the bench to put Wolves on the verge of Premier League safety as he earned them a point from a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers with his first touch of the ball.
Ebanks-Blake had barely been on the pitch for 60 seconds when he headed home a cross from Stephen Ward in the 80th minute.
The goal was also a personal milestone for Ebanks-Blake, who has spent most of the season on the bench.
It was his first goal as a Premier League player in open play with his only other strike coming from the penalty spot against Aston Villa.
Wolves are now seven points clear of the relegation zone with just two games remaining.
They could still be caught by Burnley but that would need the Turf Moor side to win their final three matches and for Wolves to lose both of theirs - a combination that looks unlikely.
Wolves had made hard work of securing a share of the spoils after falling behind to Ryan Nelsen's 28th minute strike.
Nelsen's goal took Blackburn's points tally on the road this season to 11 - ensuring they still need two more to beat their previous lowest tally from away games in the top-flight of 12 set in 1998-99.
Once Nelsen struck it was always going to be an uphill battle for Wolves due to their chronic lack of goals.
They had failed to score in their previous four games and the strike from Ebanks-Blake was only their second in the last nine home games.
Despite knowing what a win would mean, Wolves made a surprisingly low-key start to the game and it was not a surprise that Blackburn made the breakthrough.
Wolves had a let-off in the 19th minute when Nikola Kalinic hit the post with a close-range header after a cross from Morten Gamst Pedersen.
They survived a second scare after Steven N saw his header saved by Marcus Hahnemann.
But their luck ran out when George Elokobi deflected a shot from N'Zonzi away for a corner.
The resulting cross from Pedersen was missed by Hahnemann and Nelsen ghosted in to stab home his fourth goal of the season.
Wolves toiled to find a way back into the game but they should really have drawn level in stoppage time at the end of the first half when Jody Craddock met a flick from Kevin Doyle only to blaze the ball across the face of goal at the far post.
Craddock was again off target with a volley in the opening stages of the second half and when David Jones saw his free-kick fumbled around the post by Paul Robinson, it looked like their long wait for a goal would continue.
But the decision to send on Ebanks-Blake proved an inspired one as his header from six yards beat Robinson and just crept inside the near post.
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