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Match Reports

Match Report: Blackburn 1-0 Southend

7 April 2018

Blues were narrowly beaten 1-0 by top of the league Blackburn at Ewood Park in a dramatic encounter.

Blues manager Chris Powell made one change to the starting line-up, following Saturday’s 4-0 win against Gillingham, with Sam Mantom coming in for Theo Robinson as Blues looked to strengthen the defensive side of their game.

The opening 10 minutes of the game was relatively even with both sides cancelling each other out.

On the 11th minute Bradley Dack was subbed off injured and on came former Blues midfielder Jack Payne.

Blues had the first notable effort of the game in the 18th minute, as Michael Kightly swung in a corner from the left-hand side, which went in low towards the near post, however, Simon Cox’s back heel flick was met by David Raya in the Blackburn goal.

In the 33rd minute the home side had a penalty appeal turned down, as Danny Graham went down following an aerial challenge by Michael Turner, the referee waved play on, and the loose ball fell kindly for Craig Conway who blasted his effort over the crossbar at the near post.  

Just 3 minutes later Jason Demetriou had a good chance to put Blues in the lead, as he tackled Rovers centre back Derrick Williams deep in the Rovers half, and bared down on the penalty area, however, his strike flew just over the crossbar.

Blues survived a late scare just before the end of the half, as Blackburn used the pace of Adam Armstrong to get in behind Jason Demetriou down Blues right hand side, but, John White’s excellent recovery run thwarted the Rovers man in his path, however, the ball broke free to Danny Graham from around 10 yards out, but thankfully Oxley made himself big and was equal to Graham’s effort.

The opening stages of the second half begun with Blackburn putting pressure on Blues goal, just ten minutes into the half Danny Graham had two efforts foiled by Oxley, as he won a header inside the area following a dangerous cross by Elliott Bennett from the right-hand side, which resulted in the header going straight at Oxley.

Moments later Graham was released by Craig Conway down the right-hand side and was in on goal just inside the penalty area, but, he was denied by Oxley as he dived down to his left-hand side and did well to hold onto the ball.

But, on the hour mark, the Lancashire sides pressure paid off, as Graham nodded in a cross at the back post by Elliott Bennett from the right-hand side and broke Blues resilience.

Blues pressed to try and find an equaliser, and it was substitute Theo Robinson who had the first meaningful effort of the second half for Blues in the 69th minute, as he found space just inside the penalty area, and shot with the outside of his foot, however, his powerful effort was too close to Raya who comfortably saved it.

In the 89th minute Blues were denied what looked like a stone wall penalty, as Cox was bundled over in the box as he was about to shoot, following a sustained period of Blues pressure. Much to Blues surprise the referee didn’t award the spot kick despite major protests from Blues players.

Blues nearly levelled with virtually the last kick of the game, as Robinson drilled a low cross in from the right wing, that Cox managed to divert goal wards, however, Demetriou got in the way of the goal bound effort much to Blues agony.

Blues' next fixture is at the Kassam Stadium next Saturday against Oxford United, as Chris Powell’s side will look to bounce back from this narrow defeat.

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