Rovers rampage over Addicks
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Blackburn celebrated their 130th anniversary in fine style with a 4-1 win over Charlton.
Blackburn celebrated their 130th anniversary in fine style with a 4-1 win over Charlton, with Brett Emerton's early strike the pick of Rovers' goals.
Despite enjoying the best away record in all four divisions, Charlton rarely profit from a trip to East Lancashire and so it proved once again at a sodden Ewood Park.
Rovers' win was embellished by goals from Paul Dickov, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Craig Bellamy, while Bryan Hughes's close range strike before half time had briefly rekindled the visitors' hopes.
Rovers made a sparkling start with just 90 seconds on the clock. Emerton skipped past the leaden-footed Jonathan Spector and fired in a near post shot.
The effort was hard and true but Addicks manager Alan Curbishley may question the role of his goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, who appeared to pull out of the save.
And moments later Pedersen's free kick struck the wall after Steven Reid had been floored by an illegitimate challenge from Radostin Kishishev.
The visitors' first effort of note came from the right boot of Dennis Rommedahl, the Dane's 25-yard shot parried away, somewhat unconvincingly by Brad Friedel in the Rovers goal.
Emerton's shot was deflected over before Rovers doubled their lead. Lucas Neill's 18th minute cross found the unmarked Dickov who headed past Andersen from six yards.
Charlton threatened only sporadically in a disjointed start with Michael Gray's well-timed challenge denying Rommedahl a free rein. Gray was forced off moments later with what looked to be a hamstring complaint and the disruption to the home side proved a catalyst for the visitors.
Spector should have capitalised almost immediately but his scooped shot found only the clutches of his compatriot Friedel. At the other end Neill played a clever one-two with Bellamy but shot into the side netting with Andersen already committed.
Charlton gained a foothold ten minutes before half time when Darren Bent chased a long clearance from Andersen and crossed for Hughes who collided with Friedel but still managed to bundle the ball home. Hughes was rewarded for his bravery but had to leave the pitch with an ice pack clutched to his head.
Rommedahl's shot was then deflected over by Zurab Khizanishvili but Charlton had already made a partial recovery from their initial lethargy.
Rovers started the second half and immediately saw vehement penalty appeals waved away by referee Phil Dowd after Bellamy's cross struck the outstretched hand of Hermann Hreidarsson.
But on the hour mark Rovers restored their two-goal advantage. Reid's cross was converted by Pedersen first time from six yards although the Norwegian's goal owed much to a deflection off Luke Young which had wrongfooted Andersen.
Bellamy's left wing cross then found Emerton who should have claimed his second but he miscued a free header.
Two minutes later and Darren Ambrose wasted a glorious chance to pull The Addicks to within a goal of Rovers when he opted to shoot straight at Friedel when well placed. A square ball would surely have been the more profitable option after he wriggled free down the right.
Friedel was the equal of a bullet header from Hreidarsson and Jay Bothroyd, on as a substitute against his former club, was then denied when one on one with Rovers' custodian.
Charlton continued to press but Rovers' Bellamy was to have the final say. Substitute Shefki Kuqi's flick-on found the Welshman in space and his finish was low and unerring to cap a fifth home win in succession for Mark Hughes's side.
Click for Blackburn Rovers v Charlton Athletic player ratings.
|Blackburn Rovers||Team Name||Charlton Athletic|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||7|
|6||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||1|
|9||Total Fouls Conceded||18|