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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 2 Charlton 0

A Best own goal and Graham's late header ensures a sixth consecutive league win

16 December 2017

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A goal in each half proved the difference as Rovers made it six wins on the spin in League One with victory over Charlton at Ewood Park.

An own goal from former Blackburn man Leon Best set Rovers on their way before Danny Graham's late header ensured three priceless points went to the home side.

Substitute Best flicked home Charlie Mulgrew's superb free kick on the half hour to deservedly put the hosts ahead in a pretty dominant first half.

But the tables turned in the second 45, with Charlton having the majority of the play but failing to find a way past David Raya and a resolute Rovers backline.

And that allowed Rovers to produce a sucker punch, with Graham heading home in the dying embers of the game.

Another win made it six League One victories in a row for Rovers, who continue to put the pressure on the top two in the division.

Peter Whittingham missed out after picking up a muscle injury last week, but his replacement that day in Corry Evans was fit enough to play, in the only change.

Marcus Antonsson managed to shake off a niggle to take his place in the XI, and it was a milestone match for Derrick Williams, who made his 200th career appearance.

Former Rovers coach and current Charlton manager Karl Robinson named ex-Rover Best on the bench for the trip to Ewood.

Inside the opening minute visiting striker Josh Magennis shot from range but it was never going to trouble Raya in the Rovers goal.

Rovers were having plenty of the ball but struggled to create any clear cut chances in the opening stages, whilst for Charlton, Billy Clarke should have done better on the edge of the box but fired well over the upright inside the opening 15 minutes.

On 18 minutes Rovers had a great chance to get the opener, but neither Bradley Dack or Dominic Samuel could get on the end of a wicked Antonsson delivery from the left.

Dack was finding his feet in the game against the side where he started his career and saw his curling effort whistle just past the post after cutting in from the left-hand side.

But on the half hour Rovers did find the net and it came from the boot of Mulgrew, whose whipped free kick into the box took a deflection off the head of substitute Best and nestled nicely into the bottom corner of the net.

It was no less than the hosts deserved for some really positive play in the opening stages.

Rovers were searching for that second goal and an excellent set piece saw Paul Downing flick on an inswinging Dack corner but Williams could only hit wide from close range, just eight minutes before the break.

Moments later and Josh Magennis should have done better at the back post but could only head wide from a couple of yards out after a corner was hoisted in.

At the other end, Craig Conway ran from his own half and drove at the Charlton backline before shooting from range, which Amos dealt with.

The game was opening up and the Addicks nearly found an equaliser just three minutes before half time but Raya read Ben Reeves effort from inside the box and saved excellently.

Charlton came out of the blocks quickest in the second half, with Raya superbly denying a curling Reeves effort just four minutes into it before brilliantly stopping Magennis' follow up effort, which would have been ruled out for offside had the Northern Ireland international tucked the ball home.

Rovers were struggling to get into the half and Mowbray made a double change a minute before the hour, with Graham and Joe Nuttall coming on to replace Samuel and Antonsson.

The Charlton pressure kept coming and Mark Marshall hit over the bar from a free kick with time ticking on.

Rovers were struggling to create and after substitute Willem Tomlinson sent Conway clear down the right, the Scot could only hit wide of the target from an acute angle.

The visitors from south London were throwing more men forward and Jake Forster-Caskey tested Raya from range before Best looked to make amends for his own goal but could only loop a header onto the roof of the net.

Despite Rovers not being at the races in the second half, substittutes Nuttall and Graham combined before the latter nodded home with the last touch of the game to add gloss to the scoreline and secure the three points.

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Smallwood, Evans (Tomlinson, 68), Conway, Dack, Antonsson (Nuttall, 59), Samuel (Graham, 59).

Substitutes: Leutwiler, Ward, Caddis, Harper.

Goals: Best OG, 30, Graham, 90.

Booked: Nuttall, 90.

Charlton: Amos, Reeves, Da Silva, Magennis, Forster-Caskey, Solly (c), Marshall (Ahearne-Grant, 78), Pearce, Aribo, Clarke (Best, 27), Konsa.

Substitutes: Jackson, Phillips, Dodoo, Sarr, Lennon.

Booked: Forster-Caskey, 31, Pearce, 35.

Attendance: 10,907

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