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Town 2-0 Blackburn - Match Report
Tuesday, 15th Mar 2016 21:44

Daryl Murphy celebrated his 33rd birthday by scoring two second-half goals to see the Blues to a 2-0 home victory over Blackburn Rovers. The Irishman netted the first from the penalty spot in the 67th minute and added the second three minutes from the end of scheduled time.

Brett Pitman and Jonathan Douglas returned to the Blues starting line-up for Ben Pringle and Kevin Bru, who dropped to the bench.

Town started with a three-man central midfield of Cole Skuse behind Douglas and Luke Hyam with Kevin Foley back amongst the subs, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles was left out of the 18.

With Blackburn playing a diamond formation, Pitman played behind front two Murphy and Freddie Sears.

Rovers, who were playing their 10th game in 31 days, made five changes with Adam Henley, Corry Evans, Chris Brown, Matt Grimes and Simeon Jackson all starting.

Tony Watt, Ben Marshall, Jordi Gomez and Darragh Lenihan moved to the bench, while Danny Graham - scorer of four goals in his last two games against Town - was sidelined with a back injury suffered at the weekend.

Murphy struck the game’s first effort in second minute, Blackburn keeper Jason Steele palming away his 20-yard shot down to his right.

Blackburn forced Bartosz Bialkowski into his first save of the evening in the ninth minute when Grimes crossed from the right and Jackson, who trained with the Blues’ academy as a schoolboy, deftly flicked towards goal 10 yards out at the near post. The Pole scrambled the ball behind to his right.

A minute later, the Blues keeper made an even better save when Elliott Bennett’s freekick from the left evaded everyone in a crowded box and looked certain to curl into the corner of the net until he got a hand to it and turned it over.

On 12 Sears sidefooted Jonas Knudsen’s left-sided cross well over on the volley, then three minutes later the Danish international sent in another ball which Douglas headed wide with Murphy unable to reach it to add a further touch.

In the 18th minute Hope Akpan ended a slick Blackburn move on the left by shooting over from the edge of the box.

Murphy teed up Pitman for a shot from the right just outside the area in the 26th minute which Blackburn keeper Steele punched away.

Just before the half hour Evans picked up the game’s first booking for a foul on Knudsen, who had been Town’s main threat down the left.

Moments later, Grimes smashed a shot from distance which Bialkowski pushed away from goal to his right.

In the 34th minute a loose ball fell to Murphy in the area but his shot struck Sears and Rovers eventually cleared their lines.

Neither keeper was tested again before the end of a fairly typical, scruffy not overly entertaining Championship 45 minutes.

The Blues had had more of the ball and had had more shots but were largely unconvincing, while Blackburn’s two chances which forced Bialkowski into saves in the early stages were the nearest either side had come to a goal.

Blackburn swapped Evans for Lenihan at the break but it was Town who started the second half on the front foot.

On 50 Murphy wasn’t too far away with a well-struck low shot which flew just wide of Steele’s right post.

But Blackburn began to have more of the ball and six minutes later Akpan headed down to Jackson, who shot over.

As the game moved into its final half hour Brown received a ball into feet on the edge of the six-yard box at the near post from Henley but hit his shot into the side-netting.

In the 63rd minute Hyam was yellow-carded for stopping the visitors from taking a freekick quickly, then ex-Rovers striker Luke Varney replaced Pitman in the Blues attack.

Sears hit the wall with a freekick from just outside the area in the 66th minute, the ball looping to Skuse, whose volley was deflected behind, off a Rovers hand according to the Town players.

Referee Iain Williamson waved away the protests but following the corner the Blues were awarded a penalty. As the ball came over from the right Akpan appeared to shove Chambers to the floor and the official had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Birthday boy Murphy took the kick and smashed it to Steele’s left giving him no chance. It was the Irishman’s ninth of the season having gone seven games without a goal.

Blackburn swapped Grimes and Jackson for Jordi Gomez and Tony Watt before Foley took over from Skuse in Town’s midfield.

On 77 Douglas was booked for a foul on Akpan, and from Bennett’s freekick midway inside the Town half on the left Berra just got in front of Shane Duffy to head behind.

Watt shot wide for Blackburn after a corner as the still very scrappy match moved into its final 10 minutes with the visitors trying to find an equaliser, although so far unconvincingly.

And on 87 Murphy sealed the three points for the Blues and put the icing on his birthday cake with his second of the game.

Varney won the ball just inside the Town half and brought it forward before playing a ball to the Irish international, who took it inside a defender before hitting a 20-yard strike past Steele and into the net to take his season’s tally to 10.

In the closing moments Paul Digby replaced Varney and shortly afterwards referee Williamson brought the game to an end.

It wasn’t a game which will linger long in the memory but Town did what they needed to do and ground out a hard-fought win against a determined Blackburn side, who had had the better chances before the break.

The Blues were starting to threaten more prior to the penalty which Murphy tucked away with great confidence.

The second goal, created by Varney and finished superbly by Murphy, cemented a vital three points which moves the Blues up to eighth, one point off the play-offs - albeit with an inferior goal difference - with resurgent Rotherham at Portman Road on Saturday.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse (Foley 76), Hyam, Douglas, Sears, Pitman (Varney 64 (Digby 90), Murphy. Subs: Gerken, Digby, Bru, Pringle, Touré.

Blackburn: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Spurr, Evans (Lenihan 46), Akpan, Grimes (J Gomez 75), Bennett, Jackson (Watt 75), Brown. Subs: Raya, Marshall, Ward, Conway. Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire). Att: 16,488 (Blackburn: 214).

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dangerous30 added 21:48 - Mar 15
Good win well done lads.

MrDiddle added 21:48 - Mar 15
cue the moaners...

jas0999 added 21:49 - Mar 15
As this game was rearranged, owing to work commitments couldn't make it. Sounds like a dire first half, but ultimately a deserved and fully expected win over a very poor Blackburn side. Point off the play offs is remarkable considering our style of play and quality of squad, but with many winnable home games to come, who knows!

Currie10 added 21:50 - Mar 15
Oh we won probably only get around 25 comments tonight. Defeats are surely worth 150 / 200 comments ( many of absolute sheer drivel which attract + 26 + 35 a time )

GET IN, right back in it, 9 to play, time to believe. COYB!

RaymondovicBlue added 21:52 - Mar 15
Wasn't there and didn't listen but..

NOONE likes to be subbed off when on as a sub.... was it cos he played so well as to deserve the ovation?

Also ... noone on this site has advocated playing any two of Skuse, Hyam and Douglas. ..tonight we got all three and won 2-0.???

I know Skuse came off but what was it like?

(Apart from being the first of a series of good wins we hope)

pitseablue added 21:52 - Mar 15
Two nil win at home….and plenty will still moan….

IpswichT62OldBoy added 21:53 - Mar 15
Points make prizes, there are no bonus points for style. We are missing our creative players, we keep picking up points.

essexboy added 21:59 - Mar 15
WOW.!! That was hard work.Not much else to say except three very valuable points which keeps us in with a shout.Roll on Saturday.Say no more.👍

kozmik added 21:59 - Mar 15
well done the 214 Blackburn fans

EssexTractor added 22:05 - Mar 15
For those there tonight we must say it as we saw it
Three points yes but against a disillusioned pretty ordinary opposition.
(Well done to Blackburns support)
For us we huffed , we puffed, putting any exciting moves together sadly absent.
Sears ran hard as Sears does.
The midfield covered ground but no zest, and too many sideways passes.
Our captain once more heaved the ball anywhere but close to a teammate.
But after much patience, in the stands that is, a move that did bring a round of applause, as Varney turned a man and put Murphy into the space that he revelled in last season and ensured three points.
Moans no, realism yes.


bobble added 22:06 - Mar 15
Hopefully. Murphy is back to best form for the end of the year sramble

Daz added 22:11 - Mar 15
don't really care how it went on the pitch, a win was needed and that's what they got. So well done and on to the next one. Too few games left to worry how they win or play now.

rinkydinkpanther added 22:12 - Mar 15
Murphy's been sh1t all season, so I doubt it.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:13 - Mar 15
Hard fought win by the sounds. Good to see Murph scoring again, clean sheet and scoring more than one goal!
Good point above IpswichT62OldBoy.

pinewoodblueboy added 22:20 - Mar 15
Great 3 points, Tedious dire game, Murphys fine 2nd goal aside, one to forget. Somehow, we are only 1 point from the play off places, expect more of the same on Saturday, this win, however, merely papers over how mediocre we are & the championship is in general.

OwainG1992 added 22:23 - Mar 15
3 points. Clean sheet. Job done move onto the Roth game which will be tricky but i would be tempted to bet on the same scoreline as tonight. Well done to the lads and lets keep going!!

ITFCRealist added 22:25 - Mar 15
Only 2-0 at home against a terrible Venkys side, without their top goal scorer. Plus our Captain swearing at the family enclosure. Disgusting.
Poor night, despite the win.

happybeingblue added 22:27 - Mar 15
Mick just confirmed we got feeney on loan from Bolton :)

TimmyH added 22:29 - Mar 15
Yet another drab game with not a lot between the sides although sounded like we were the better team 2nd half. Nice to see Murphy back in the goals and as I keep saying clean sheets we need if we are to threaten the commend the back line for that. As for that midfield...well let's hope Mick doesn't continue with Skuse/Haym and Douglas in the same starting 11, I really can't see that combination succeeding.

But got the job done tonight so valuable 3 points...enough said!

bluefeast added 22:41 - Mar 15
a win is a win , well done murphy , that should raise his confidence and maybe he all score each game and end on a decent tally

carsey added 22:41 - Mar 15
Of the many horrendous games we have had to watch this season that has to be among the worst. Yes 3 points Yes a clean sheet (thanks to Bart) but come on folks that was awful.
Chambers seemed like he was on speed from the first minute Douglas just would not turn round and pass the ball forwards.
McCarthy must see how poor we truly are.

dugoutdave added 22:43 - Mar 15
Ok the 3 points are great but it cant disguise completely uninspiring pergormance. The desire that Varney showed to win the ball and then an inch perfect pass was what made the whole game worth it. If only more showed that desire. As for Douglas, sorry but cannot see a single redeeming quality about his play, Foley is way better in my opinion.

But despite the boredom, still in the mix and still fighting.

prebsa added 22:46 - Mar 15
Not a bad game but not great either. But a very welcomed 3 points! Few of my points on the game. If you disagree let me know and why!

- Bart made some top saves
- Freddie up front making some good runs
- Murphy took the pen well and a good touch and finish for the second
- Secong goal showed we can play some good football
- Varney was lively when he came on
- Berra and Smith looked quite good together

- Most negative possible midfield possible
- Because of that it was hard to get a good game going
- Knudsen was poor and most balls were aimlessly lumped forwards
- Mick leaving it too late to change up the midfield when it clearly wasent working
- Still a lot of lumped balls when we showed for the second goal we can play some football

Those are my thoughts like I say disagree let me know and why! Another 4 points Saturday please!

KillarneyBlue added 22:48 - Mar 15

hkbluey added 22:48 - Mar 15
Cleansheet, 3 points and some new bloke called Murphy has suddenly turned up......... Take that.... Sounded dire by most accounts but hey ho....... I think with our squad and financial clout we have already overperformed so all wins greatfully accepted...... Lets hope the new Murph turns up again soon ....... Up The Towen...

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