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17:56 12th September 2009

Second Best

Blackburn Rovers 3 (Diouf 19, Roberts 56, Dunn 64)

Wolves 1 (Maierhofer 87)

Wolves were second best at Ewood Park as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against a Blackburn side that had taken just a single point going into the game. The only consolation for the visitors came in the shape of a late goal from debutant Stefan Maierhofer.

There were two changes to the Wolves starting line up with Matt Hill coming in at left-back for George Elokobi and Christophe Berra replacing the injured Jody Craddock in central defence.

Rovers included two former Molineux men in their side - Keith Andrews and Jason Roberts.

Wolves kicked-off defending the Darwin End which had 3,000 travelling fans packed into the upper tier.

The home team started strongly winning a corner after just 14 seconds after Roberts's attempted cross cannoned behind off Berra. Andy Keogh headed clear Morten Gamst Pedersen's flag-kick.

Wolves were close to taking a sixth minute lead after Paul Robinson failed to gather Matt Jarvis's deep free-kick. The ball broke to Berra who turned but was wide with his shot.

Roberts looked to be on for an opening goal after David Dunn had raced past two defenders and slipped a short through pass to the striker. He was about to shoot with just Wayne Hennessey in front of him but Hill got in a superb last ditch challenge to win the ball.

With 18 minutes gone Richard Stearman played the ball to Keogh in the home box. He beat his marker but then fell and completely missed his kick as he attempted a shot.

Just seconds later, Blackburn took the lead. Michael Mancienne lost out in the centre circle to El-Hadji Diouf who raced clear and hit a shot that Hennessey got a leg to but couldn't keep out.

A cheer from the away support was cut short five minutes later as Berra put the ball past Robinson with the referee having spotted an infringement in the home area.

Hennessey was called into action when he turned behind a Pedersen free-kick from wide on the right, then the Welsh keeper made a great save to block from Andrews who had burst through onto Dunn's through ball.

Andrews volleyed wide shortly afterwards and then, in stoppage time, Pedersen hit the outside of the near post with a 20-yard free-kick.

Wolves won a corner just before the whistle for half-time and when Nenad Milijaš planted the ball into the middle it fell to Jarvis who shanked his shot allowing a defender to clear.

Half-Time: Rovers 1 Wolves 0

Mick McCarthy made two changes following the break with Maierhofer and Dave Edwards coming on for Milijaš and Greg Halford.

Maierhofer almost made an instant impact with a drive from 25-yards that wasn't far wide of Robinson's right-hand post.

Wolves were enjoying their best spell of the game in the minutes that followed and Robinson was in trouble after he could only help a Kevin Doyle cross on to Jarvis whose centre was headed goalwards by Stearman but fielded by the Blackburn keeper.

Rovers went two up in the 56th minute when Gael Givet's header, following a corner from Dunn, was helped on into the net by Roberts.

Berra had to race across to clear as Roberts threatened after he had shook off Mancienne. But the respite was brief as Dunn converted a third home goal with 64 minutes gone. Hennessey made a good save from Roberts but Dunn raced in to tuck the ball over the line. Stearman's complaint to the linesman that the Rovers man was offside only resulted in a yellow card.

Doyle forced an athletic save from Robinson with a 20-yard drive and, from the resultant corner which was taken by Jarvis, Maierhofer's header was blocked by a defender just in front of the line.

Hennessey was penalised for hands after he caught the ball but fell outside the area. Andrews lifted the free-kick over the wall and the Wolves keeper had to dive full length to push the ball away.

Substitute Brett Emerson delivered a low cross that saw Stearman and Roberts tussling for the ball in the heart of the area but Rovers penalty appeals were waved away by the referee.

With three minutes left Keogh was denied a goal by Givet who deflected away a fierce close range shot after Jarvis had supplied the centre.

Jarvis took the corner that followed and after Maierhofer had chested the ball down, the Austrian lashed it into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.

Rovers: Robinson (capt), Jacobsen (Salgado 85), Samba (Nelsen 75), Givet, Dunn, Roberts, Grella, Pedersen (Emerton 74), Andrews, Diouf, Chimbonda.

Unused subs: Brown, Kalanic, Hoillett, De Santo.

Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman, Hill, Milijaš (Edwards 45), Mancienne, Berra, Halford (Maierhofer 45), Henry (capt), Doyle (Surman 78), Keogh, Jarvis.

Unused subs: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Jones, Vokes.

Bookings: Stearman (64 - dissent), Berra (85 - foul).

Referee: S. Bennett.

Attendance: 24,845.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.